Around two-thirds of adult men smoke in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest and least regulated tobacco markets. The government in Jakarta has tried to introduce legislation to restrict advertising but the proposals have been watered down after industry lobbying. The FT’s Ben Bland talks to smokers, lobbyists and health campaigners about why smoking is still so popular.
You’re attacked as a lame duck president, nearing the end of your second and final term. Your political party is mired in corruption scandals and infighting. And your government is under fire over a growing list of policy missteps. So what do you do to salvage your reputation? Join Twitter of course.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president universally known as SBY, surprised many when he took the plunge into the back-biting world of social media on Saturday. Continue reading »
It’s bad news for consumers and the government but good news for traders (and vampires). Indonesia is suffering from a garlic shortage and prices have skyrocketed as a result, up by an average of 31 per cent in February alone.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has set the cat among the pigeons with a surprise choice of nominee as central bank governor to succeed Darmin Nasution, whose term ends in May.
The rupiah has barely moved since Saturday’s news that the president had plumped for finance minister Agus Martowardojo (pictured left). But his record has been questioned by some members of parliament, which will have the final say on the appointment. Prepare for rumbles, with politicians increasingly focusing on the 2014 presidential election. Continue reading »
Such a move would pit Rothschild against the billionaire Indonesian Bakrie family, which set up Bumi in a partnership with Rothschild that has since collapsed in acrimony.
It would also add political spice to the financial arguments, as the people Rothschild has reportedly approached with his plan include Prabowo Subianto, an Indonesian presidential election candidate, whose rivals in the 2014 will include Aburizal Bakrie, the Bakrie family head. Continue reading »
But it said that it would grant exemption to particularly strong banks – which paves the way for Singapore’s DBS Group to complete its $7.2bn bid for Danamon Bank. That’s what investors were expecting, and both banks’ shares rose only slightly on the news. Continue reading »
Indonesia’s cautious president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, usually likes to stay above the cut and thrust of the investor disputes that break out habitually in this vast country where there are as many money-making opportunities as there are unclear regulations.
But he has waded into a politically-charged battle between Churchill Mining, a small company listed on London’s junior Aim exchange, and the district government in East Kutai, Kalimantan. Continue reading »
Running a vast archipelagic nation like Indonesia is far from easy, with 6,000 inhabited islands dotted throughout an area stretching more than 3,000 miles from east to west. But the government’s latest initiative to bring the nation closer together and drive economic growth has left some influential commentators scratching their heads.
Gita Wirjawan, the trade minister, announced on Wednesday that the government was planning to merge the country’s three timezones on October 28, following in the footsteps of the Chinese Communist Party which unified five timezones after it won power in 1949. Continue reading »
Violent protests this week have pushed Indonesia’s opposition to reject the government’s plan to cut spending on subsidising fuel.
The subsidies accounted for 20 per cent of government total spending last year, and analysts have said that cutting is needed if the government wants to limit its deficit and make room for investing in long-term growth projects. But pushing the cuts though might be less simple than first thought. Continue reading »