Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jakarta Can Be a ‘New Manhattan’: Tomy Winata


Jakarta is poised to become a “new Manhattan” according to an ambitious city plan described by Tomy Winata, founder of Artha Graha Group founder, during to an interview with cable TV broadcaster CNBC aired last weekend.

Danayasa Arthatama, a subsidiary of Winata’s company, closed a deal with US firm MGM Hospitality to construct a $2 billion, 638-meter tower — Indonesia’s tallest building in the future — within Sudirman Central Business District, South Jakarta.

Dubbed Signature Tower, the building will claim the world’s fifth-tallest building tag with its 111 stories, dwarfing Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers as the tallest building in Southeast Asia. Based on the ompanies’ program, it will house 70 floors of office space, a six-star luxury hotel and will include conference facilities.

Tomy, 54, told CNBC that the project will anounce to the world that “Jakarta … is not a big village. Jakarta is becoming a new Manhattan.”

Meantime, on his proposed $15 billion Sunda Strait bridge project, the native of West Kalimantan declared, “I haven’t got the rights to do the project.”

Former Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo hesitated to grant the central government support to Artha Graha’s plan as well as the Banten Lampung provincial governments to build a 29-kilometer bridege connecting Sumatra and Java.

Nevertheless, Tomy Winata feels confident the project will push through in the end. “If one day the government gives the opportunity to us, the project financing will come from the private sector, without any guarantee from the government,” he told CNBC.

The government’s public-private partnership program requires state guarantees, considering the major investment risks involved. Agus, who will soon assume as Bank of Indonesia governor next month, has declared that he wanted to avoid a recurrence of the fiasco over the Jakarta monorail project.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Here’s The Argument That The Entire World Economy Is Starting To Go Bad


Lately, the stock market has weakened with commodities been getting crushed.

Is the global economy slowing down hard? Maybe.

Recent U.S. economic data especially in housing has been disappointing.

And growth in China, a global growth engine, has slowed as it continues to crack down on corruption, property prices, and shadow banking. Its plan to shift its economy from exports to domestic-demand-powered growth has also added to the lower growth rate.

In Germany, Europe’s so-called strong-arm, economic hopes fall.

Let us briefly consider some salient data arising around the globe:

The U.S.

Housing, considered a huge source part of the economic recovery, is also showing signs of faltering. Building permits are decreasing and so is homebuilder confidence while foreclosure procedures are up and capacity limitations among mortgage lenders are also affecting the initial rebound.

America’s manufacturing rebirth also seems off-target. The Empire Fed manufacturing survey went down to 3.05 in April, below expectations. Today, we saw the April Philly Fed fall to 1.3, with the unemployment sub-index going down to -6.8.

In March, retail sales suddenly fell 0.4%. Nomura explained that the decreasing trends in sales in the last two months meant that “consumer adjustment to lower disposable income at the start of the year has begun.” Consumer confidence also missed the mark, falling to 72.3 in April, from 78.6 in March.

Reports regarding employment showed that only 88,000 new jobs were created in March, way below the expected 190,000 goal. The unemployment rate fell to 7.6% only because of a slow down in the rate of labor-force participation.

Topping this somber picture is the sequester, which has just started to move.


Chinese GDP fell down to 7.7% in Q1, missing the 8% growth target. Industrial production, manufacturing (as represented through PMI) and exports, likewise, did not make the grade.

The government’s campaign against corruption through ‘gift giving’ has affected retail sales, especially in the catering industry.

Latest surveys also indicated that home prices in China went up in 68 of 70 cities. Top-ranking cities posted a huge rise in home prices. Policymakers will most likely maintain the stringent measures to control the rise in property prices and shadow-banking.

Final assessment: The three major economic regions show clear signs of instability.


Germany showed some positive signs; but economic sentiment fell down to 42.

In the United Kingdom, joblessness increased by 70,000 to 2.56 million from December through February. Unemployment rate increased to 7.9%. Moreover, retail sales, including fuels, fell 0.7% within March, and 0.5% within the year. And next week’s GDP data will show if the U.K. has entered a triple-dip recession.