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Oct 5, 2015

Insight – With a whiff of Wall Street, Indonesia’s Jokowi tries a new tack

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been a let-down for investors who thought he would slash red tape and push aside reactionaries to revive the economy. Now, after nearly a year in office, he is starting to look like the leader they expected.

After months of policy confusion, internal bickering and pressure from powerful political forces rooted in the reflexive economic nationalism of Indonesia’s past, aides say the president has had enough.

Oct 5, 2015

With a whiff of Wall Street, Indonesia’s Jokowi tries a new tack

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been a let-down for investors who thought he would slash red tape and push aside reactionaries to revive the economy. Now, after nearly a year in office, he is starting to look like the leader they expected.

After months of policy confusion, internal bickering and pressure from powerful political forces rooted in the reflexive economic nationalism of Indonesia’s past, aides say the president has had enough.

Sep 29, 2015

Malaysia’s 1MDB says not contacted by foreign investigators

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Malaysia’s troubled
strategic investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)
has not been contacted by any foreign investigators
over allegations of mismanagement and corruption, its president
Arul Kanda told Reuters on Tuesday.

“In terms of the Swiss investigations or the Singaporean
investigations or the FBI investigations, 1MDB has not been
contacted by any of those authorities,” said Kanda, who was
hired from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in January to conduct a
strategic review of the state-owned fund, which owns mostly
power and property assets.

Sep 29, 2015

Malaysia faces another bond litmus test as contagion worries grow

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Foreign investors could pull up to another billion dollars out of embattled Malaysia’s bond markets this week, pushing the country a step closer to a currency reserves crisis that would send shudders across the region.

A widening political scandal and tumbling currency have steadily taken their toll on investor sentiment towards the Southeast Asian economy, unnerving its emerging Asian neighbors despite the central bank’s efforts to contain the damage.

Sep 6, 2015

Singapore’s rulers hope a nudge to the left will keep voters loyal

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – At breakfast time one day last week, Singapore government minister K. Shanmugam dropped in to a bustling food court to greet voters, listen to their grumbles and urge them to back the People’s Action Party (PAP) in this Friday’s general election.

There was a burst of applause from a table of tea-drinking men, old ladies looked up smilingly from bowls of noodle soup, and one of the sharpest complaints he heard was from a resident about pigeons roosting outside her house.

Aug 12, 2015

Indonesia’s Widodo to reshuffle cabinet as economic growth sags

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo will replace key economy ministers in a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, sources said, a long-expected change to reassure investors worried about a policy drift that has allowed growth to slip to a six-year low.

According to media reports and Reuters sources, former central bank governor Darmin Nasution will replace Sofyan Djalil as chief economic minister and prominent private equity executive Tom Lembong will take over the trade portfolio.

Aug 9, 2015

Indonesia urges U.S. Fed to hurry up and raise rates

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia wants the U.S. Federal Reserve to hurry up and raise interest rates because uncertainty over when it will tighten has created downward pressure on the rupiah, the country’s chief economics minister said.

Sofyan Djalil, coordinating minister for economics, told Reuters that he did not see the rupiah dropping when the U.S. easing does come because the move has been built into market expectations, and in fact the currency is now undervalued.

Aug 7, 2015

Indonesia open to Pacific trade pact after Obama Congress victory

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia is now open to joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement following U.S. President Barack Obama’s victory in a congressional battle over the pact, the country’s chief economic minister said on Friday.

The TPP would cut trade barriers and harmonize standards across 12 Pacific rim economies, including Australia and Japan, that have a combined gross domestic product of $28 trillion.

Jan 18, 2015

Insight – Indian spy’s role alleged in Sri Lankan president’s election defeat

COLOMBO/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Sri Lanka expelled the Colombo station chief of India’s spy agency in the run-up to this month’s presidential election, political and intelligence sources said, accusing him of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman denied any expulsion and said that transfers were routine decisions. Rajapaksa, voted out of office in the Jan 8 election, told Reuters he did not know all the facts while the new government in Colombo has said it is aware of the reports but cannot confirm them.

Jan 9, 2015

Sri Lankan president concedes defeat after decade in power

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat to his opposition challenger on Friday after a presidential election, ending a decade of rule that critics say had become increasingly authoritarian and marred by nepotism and corruption.

“We don’t have any good news. It is all bad news,” said a senior government official and close ally of Rajapaksa as the results came in from Thursday’s election on this Indian Ocean island of 21 million people. “I think people need a change and this is democracy.”

    • About John

      "John Chalmers is the Reuters' Bureau Chief for South Asia. He was previously a correspondent in London, Paris, Hanoi, New Delhi and Brussels."
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