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Goldman says Internet firms’ next big fight will be in Indonesia


Analysts believe the next big battleground for tech companies is in Indonesia, with two sectors in particular offering the biggest opportunities for profits – gaming and e-commerce. — Reuters

Analysts believe the next big battleground for tech companies is in Indonesia, with two sectors in particular offering the biggest opportunities for profits – gaming and e-commerce. — Reuters

Goldman Sachs Group Inc says the next battle for technology companies will be fought in Indonesia, because of the Asian country’s huge population, high economic growth and “untapped market potential.” 

In a report that the brokerage describes as the “first of its kind,” analysts led by Miang Chuen Koh analysed the two sectors that they believes offer the biggest opportunities for profits – gaming and e-commerce – and took a bottom-up approach to determine the size of the market. It says gaming revenue could have a compounded annual growth rate of 22% over the next five years, while gross merchandise value in e-commerce could see a CAGR of 61%. 

Notice, Goldman says, how some of the biggest names in the technology industry have made large investments in the South-East Asian country in the last few years. It cited SoftBank Group Corp, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alphabet Inc’s Google. (For example, Softbank was part of a group that invested US$100mil (RM388.95mil) in Internet shopping hub Tokopedia in 2014. It also teamed up with Didi Chuxing to invest US$2bil (RM7.77bil) in Grab, which just bought Uber’s business in South-East Asia.) 

Buy the underdog 

But those companies are not the ones that the brokerage is recommending buying – at least not in this report. 

The best way to play this? Buy the ADRs (American Depository Receipts) of a Singapore-based Internet company called Sea Ltd. Sea is the parent of Indonesia’s Garena (a digital entertainment business) and e-commerce platform Shopee. Sea is well-positioned to benefit from Indonesia’s growth prospects, trends and competitions, Goldman said. 

Sea’s ADRs have fallen 30% since they were listed in 2017. Despite that, there are no analyst bears. The company has 9 buy ratings, and analysts expect the ADRs to rise 76% over the next 12 months. Goldman is even more bullish: it reckons they will double. — Bloomberg

   

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