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Flood Politics & Jakarta Election

Pressure from hardline groups aside, the electability of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama could also be influenced by other factors, one of which is flooding in the capital city. Sure enough, many areas in Jakarta were flooded in the past few days, as rain poured heavily and water from the upstream rushed downward through the many rivers that run across Jakarta.

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Gulf Manganese vs Marthen Amtiran

ASX-listed Gulf Manganese Corporation Ltd announced on Monday that it has terminated the binding agreement with Marthen Amtiran to invest US$10 million for 10% equity in PT Gulf Mangan Group, which plans to develop manganese smelter in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. When we first wrote the issue in August 2016, we have reserved some doubts in the story.

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Mixed Signals on Property

Overall the property industry has been facing a downturn cycle and has not yet recovered. But the sector has shown mixed signals on current development. Some property developers have said that the residential segment remained under pressure, while commercial segment showed its growth. The industrial estate sector also shows its better sales performance.

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On the Revocation of Political Rights

On February 20, 2017, the Corruption Court at the Central Jakarta District Court complied with the demand of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)’s Public Prosecutor for the revocation of the political rights (the right to run for public office) of the former Chairman of DPD Irman Gusman. This decision will help the KPK’s push for making the revocation of political rights a standard penalty for graft crime.

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Update on PT Pertamina Trans Kontinental’s Graft Case

On February 20, 2017, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) examined Ahmad Bambang, the former Vice President Director of PT Pertamina (Persero), as a witness in the investigation into the allegations of graft involving PT Pertamina Trans Kontinental, the subsidiaries of Pertamina. The AGO have so far examined several important individuals and documents related to the case from the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).

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Anti-Ahok Rallies & Jakarta Election

Yesterday (Feb. 21) Hardline Muslim groups staged yet another rally to demand the dismissal of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama. This time they chose to voice their demands in front of the House of Representatives (DPR). Some of them even had the chance to meet with the leaders of the DPR Commission III.

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The Market & the Economy

The composite index of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) fell 0.34% to close at 5,341 on Tuesday (Feb 21) as investors continued selling local stocks amid concern over recent developments on domestic politics. Foreign investors booked net sell of Rp146.1 billion, bringing year-to-date net sell to Rp1.21 trillion.

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Possible End of Freeport in Grasberg (3)

Shares of Freeport McMoRan (FCX), controlling shareholder of PT Freeport Indonesia, ended lower by 5.23% in New York Tuesday (Feb 21) with over 66 million shares exchanged hands. Uncertainty surrounding Grasberg mine, Freeport’s most profitable mine under management, contributed to the correction because copper prices actually gained 3% that day.

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Steel Industry & Metals

World crude steel production for the 67 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 136.5 million tonnes (Mt) in January 2017, a 7.0% increase compared to January 2016, lifted mostly by 7.4% growth of China’s output to 67.2 million tons in the month and euphoria in President Trump’s infrastructure program.

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Revisiting Saudi Arabia Investment in Indonesia

Saudi Arabia king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will visit Indonesia from March 1st to 9th, bringing a big delegation of 1,500 people, 10 ministers, and 25 prince. Other than one of the largest delegations, this is also a historic visit in almost 50 years. The last time Saudi Arabia King visited Indonesia was back in 1970. President Jokowi also plans a special treatment, welcoming the King at the airport.

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