Is It Safe for Investors to Chase Indonesia?

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Credit Suisse’s Jahanzeb Naseer is out with an Indonesia market strategy call. Most investors know the term BRIC for Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now the new term is MINT, for Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. Naseer’s summary is simply, “Get on the Jokowi train, but mind the gap.”

The Credit Suisse report says that the nomination of Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as the presidential candidate for PDIP is a break from traditional Indonesian politics, and also that this could be a watershed for Indonesian politics. Still, “realpolitik” would indicate that some of the euphoria should be tempered. Jokowi was referred to as a shoo-in for president according to polls and sentiment, but the notion of gaining a majority in parliament was called a long shot.

The end result: the new Indonesian government would still need to be formed via a coalition. Naseer said:

We believe that a potential Jokowi presidency will focus on infrastructure development, attracting FDI and import substitution. However, funding will be an issue. With the fiscal constraints that Indonesia has, much of the development will need to be funded by the private sector. Some of the policies that we have seen in terms of restrictions on property developments in Jakarta, start of the Jakarta underground project (MRT) and focus on solving traffic congestions provide clues to what we can expect from a national level PDIP government.

The firm remains positive on the longer-term direction of the Indonesian market. Credit Suisse also maintained its 5,200 target for Jakarta Composite Index, but Credit Suisse warns that the recent run-up provides a good rotation opportunity from some of the sectors that have run hard. For instance, it was pointed out that the property sector has run 50% so far this year, and other selective stocks like Erajaya, BTPN could be rotated into such as cement and consumer names like Electronic City, Matahari and top-tier banks such as BCA and Mandiri.

Bloomberg recently reported:

The Jakarta Composite Index will rise a further 7 percent to a record closing level of 5,225 this year after the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle nominated the Jakarta governor as its presidential candidate, according to PT CIMB Securities Indonesia, the second-largest brokerage.

The Jakarta Composite Index was recently trading around 4,900. So, there are several ways that this can be viewed for funds and ETFs.

The iShares MSCI Indonesia (NYSEMKT: EIDO) trades at $28.45, against a 52-week range of $21.06 to $36.48, and its average volume is more than 500,000 shares per day.

Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (NYSEMKT: IDX) trades at $25.45, against a 52-week range of $20.06 to $33.39, but its volume is only about 170,000 shares per day.

There is also the closed-end fund called the Aberdeen Indonesia Fund Inc. (NYSE: IF). It trades at $9.30, against a 52-week range of $7.76 to $13.50, but the average volume is very thin at 40,000 shares per day.

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (NYSE: TLK) is the local telecom and communications ADR that trades in New York. Its price of $39.25 compares to a 52-week range of $33.75 to $50.61, and it trades 260,000 shares or so on an average day.

Lastly, there is the Market Vectors Indonesia Small-Cap ETF (NYSEMKT: IDXJ). Trading at $14.95, its 52-week range is $11.23 to $20.95. As it tracks small-cap stocks, its volume is the thinnest of all five vehicles, with only about 15,000 shares on an average day’s volume.

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