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Indonesia eyes foreign firms for more mergers

JAKARTA: Indonesia has almost 2,000 banks and a currency that has plunged 11% since January, a combination overburdened regulators hope will prove irresistible to foreign acquirers.

Indonesian regulations make it difficult – though not impossible – for foreign banks to invest more than 40% in local lenders. Singapore’s DBS Group Holdings Ltd scrapped a bid to buy PT Bank Danamon Indonesia in 2013 after the ownership rule was introduced.

Ringgit lower against US$ despite higher oil price

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was lower against the US dollar early Monday despite the higher oil prices, a dealer said.

“If the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries looks forward to stabilising prices within the US$70-US80 per barrel, it could likely weigh down on the oil market sentiment and also influence the currency market,” the dealer said.

Indonesia contends with aggressive Chinese online lenders

INDONESIAN authorities have generally opened their arms to fintech companies offering online loans in South-East Asia’s biggest economy, viewing them as a way of getting credit to tens of millions of people often unable to access bank lending.

Presidential race kicks off

Jakarta: Campaigning for Indon­esia’s presidential election in April has kicked off, pitting incumbent Joko Widodo against a former military general in the race to lead the world’s third-biggest democracy.

Powerful statement: Indonesians dressed in superhero costumes marching during a ceremony in Jakarta to the kick off the campaign period for next year’s election. — AP

Indonesia kicks off presidential race as currency slumps

Jakarta (AFP) - Campaigning for Indonesia's presidential election in April kicked off Sunday, pitting incumbent Joko Widodo against a former military general in the race to lead the world's third-biggest democracy.

Opinion polls show Indonesian President Joko Widodo well ahead of his main challenger Prabowo Subianto.

Bargain-hunting lifts EM assets as China moves to defend itself in trade war against US

Trade war mania and emerging market routs have been driving markets, and for now they do as if the reversal is taking place.

China factor: Chan believes that the Chinese stock markets can look forward to more policy announcements for measures that are already in the pipeline, which may be a source of upside surprise.

Indonesia's presidential hopefuls woo millennials, Muslims as election in focus

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo launched his re-election campaign on Friday, looking to win over big blocs of millennial and Muslim voters as Southeast Asia's biggest economy sails into choppy waters.

Asian currencies edge up as markets reassess trade war disruptions

BENGALURU: Asian currencies strengthened for the third consecutive day on Friday, supported by a weaker dollar and shifting views over how much damage the Sino-U.S. trade war will inflict on global demand and export-reliant regional economies.

Ringgit higher against US$ helped by US-Mexico trade agreement

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit was stronger against the US dollar early Friday helped by news of a US-Mexico trade agreement, dealers said.

At 9 am ()100 gmt), the ringgit stood at 4.1290/1330 against the greenback from 4.1350/1400 on Thursday.

Indonesia aims to coax, not compel, exporters to convert dollar

JAKARTA: Indonesia's finance minister said the government aims to "persuade" exporters to keep earnings onshore and convert them into rupiah, rather than make this mandatory, amid confusion over a plan floated this week to support the ailing currency.

Some analysts point to tougher rules in Malaysia and Thailand, though also question whether copying them could breach Indonesia's free foreign exchange regime.  Malaysia has, since 2016, required exporters to convert 75 percent of their earnings to ringgit, while Thai exporters must keep export proceeds above a certain amount in authorized banks for 360 days.