Why the Indonesian stock market is booming

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By Gerald Wong, CFA • 16 May 2024 • 0 min read

The Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index (JCI), Indonesia’s benchmark stock index, reached an all-time in March this year.

why the indonesian stock market is booming

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This article was created in partnership with ASEAN Exchanges. The views and opinions expressed are Beansprout's objective and professional opinions.

What happened?

The Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite Index (JCI), Indonesia’s benchmark stock index, reached an all-time high of 7,421 on 14 March 2024, continuing its strong momentum following a gain of 6.1% in 2023. 

The strong market performance has been driven by Indonesia’s steady economic growth of 5.05% in 2023, which surpassed the growth rate of 4.1% for emerging market and developing economies.  

More recently, investors have also gained confidence on economic continuity after the General Elections Commission (KPU) declared Prabowo Subianto as the winner of Indonesia’s presidential election by a wide margin. 

These developments cap Indonesia’s steady economic transformation over the past decade which has propelled the country to become the world’s 16th largest economy by nominal GDP in 2023. 

Why Invest in Indonesia?

Clearly, Indonesia is on the radar once again for investors looking at investment opportunities in emerging markets to gain exposure to dynamic economies. 

Many long term structural drivers, including its economic growth potential, positive demographic trends, rising technology adoption, abundance of natural resources, as well as regulatory reform support this trend. 

#1 – Economic Growth Potential

According to the OECD Economic Outlook, Interim Report February 2024, Indonesia’s economy is expected to further expand by another 5.1% in 2024 and 5.2% in 2025. 

Indonesia GDP expected to grow

In fact, Indonesia’s projected growth rate in 2024 is expected to exceed that of China, which is expected to grow by a more modest 4.7% this year. 

This growth potential can translate into opportunities for companies listed on the IDX to expand their businesses and generate higher revenues and profits.

Indonesia GDP expected to surpass G20 economies#2 – Positive demographic trends 

Indonesia has a large and youthful population, offering a vast consumer market for companies to tap. It is home to more than 270 million people, with a median age of around 30 years old. 

The rise of the middle class in Indonesia has been a significant driver of consumption growth. This demographic dividend provides structural growth opportunities for companies operating in various sectors, including consumer goods, retail, healthcare, and technology. 

As incomes rise and lifestyles evolve, the demand for discretionary goods and services such as automobiles, electronics, travel, and entertainment is expected to increase. Companies catering to the needs and preferences of the expanding middle class are well-positioned to benefit from this trend.

Indonesia 4th populous country globally

#3 – Rising technology adoption

Indonesia has seen significant growth in technology adoption and digitalization, driven by increasing internet penetration, smartphone usage, and the proliferation of e-commerce platforms. 

According to the Google, Temasek and Bain e-Conomy 2023 report, Indonesia’s overall digital economy is expected to reach about US$110 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2025, representing a 15% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023. This is largely fuelled by the growth in e-commerce as digital adoption continues to rise. 

Technology companies and digital service providers are capitalising on the growing digital economy. This has led to the emergence of tech companies offering innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of consumers and businesses. 

Some of these companies which were recently listed on the Indonesian stock exchange include PT GoTo Gojek Tokopedia Tbk (IDX: GOTO), which was formed as a merger between ride-hailing giant Gojek and e-commerce firm Tokopedia, as well as e-commerce firms PT Bukalapak.com Tbk (IDX: BUKA) and Blibli, also known as PT Global Digital Niaga Tbk (IDX: BELI).

Indonesia digital economy expected to grow at 15% CAGR

#4 – Abundance of Natural Resources

Indonesia is rich in natural resources, including palm oil, coal, rubber, minerals, natural gas, and metals. For example, Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, which is used in food products, cosmetics and biofuels. It is also one of the world’s top exporters of coal, particularly thermal coal used in power generation. 

Indonesia is also one of the world’s largest producers of nickel, which is a crucial component in the production of lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EVs). It is also a significant producer of copper, another critical component in EV manufacturing. As the EV market continues to grow rapidly, Indonesia’s position in the global nickel and copper markets directly impacts the EV supply chain. 

Rising global demand for commodities presents opportunities for Indonesian companies to tap into the abundant supply of resources domestically to expand their market reach and increase revenues.

Indonesia worlds largest nickel producer

#5 – Political Stability and Regulatory Reforms

While Indonesia has experienced political challenges in the past, it has demonstrated relative stability in recent years, creating a favourable environment for business and investment. 

The Indonesian government has implemented regulatory reforms to improve the ease of doing business and attract investment, making the country more attractive to both domestic and foreign investors.

In addition, the Indonesian government has prioritized infrastructure development as a key driver of economic growth. For example, the Trans Java Toll Road project aims to create a seamless transportation network spanning the length of Java, Indonesia’s most populous island. Similar to the Trans Java Toll Road, the Trans Sumatra Toll Road project aims to improve transportation connectivity on the island of Sumatra. To promote balanced development across Indonesia, the government has announced plans to relocate the capital city to a new site in East Kalimantan.

These large-scale projects in transportation, energy, telecommunications, and other sectors create opportunities for companies involved in construction, engineering, logistics, and related industries. As infrastructure improves, it facilitates business expansion, reduces operating costs, and enhances connectivity, contributing to overall economic development.

What are some risks to look out for?

Investors should remain mindful of risks when considering investments in the Indonesian market.

Some of these risks include macroeconomic risks, regulatory risks as well as currency risks. 

Macroeconomic risks: Indonesia’s economy is exposed to external factors such as global commodity prices and economic conditions in major trading partners. For example, a prolonged slowdown in China may lead to weaker commodity demand and impact Indonesia’s economy.

Regulatory risks: Indonesia's political landscape can be complex, with changes in government policies and regulations impacting various sectors of the economy. Investors should closely monitor political developments and regulatory changes that may affect industries such as mining, energy, and telecommunications.

Currency risks: For foreign investors, exposure to the Indonesian rupiah adds another layer of risk. Fluctuations in the exchange rate between the rupiah and other currencies can impact the returns of investments. For example, if interest rates in the US were to remain high, they may lead to capital outflows from emerging markets including Indonesia, thereby leading to a weaker rupiah. 

How can investors gain exposure to Indonesia?

Overall, the combination of favourable demographics, ongoing economic reforms, infrastructure development, and technological advancements position the Indonesian economy for long-term growth. 

Investors who are looking to gain exposure to the growth potential of Indonesia can do so through a broker which offers access to the Indonesia stock exchange, or an exchange-traded fund which tracks the performance of the Indonesian stock index. 

Within ASEAN, there are also companies which have significant exposure to the Indonesian market and hold sizeable stakes in Indonesian companies. For example, Singapore-listed Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07) owns a 50.1% stake in PT Astra International Tbk (IDX: ASII), Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited (BKK: BBL) owns a 98,7% stake in PT Bank Permata Tbk (IDX: BNLI) and CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (KLSE: CIMB) has indirect ownership and control on PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk (IDX: BNGA).

What to look out for next

Prabowo has committed to turn Indonesia into an advanced and developed economy through continued development in the commodities sector, as well as infrastructure modernisation during his election campaign. This may also entail further economic reform to attract more foreign investments. 

With the US Federal Reserve expected to cut interest rates in 2024, there might be less pressure on emerging market currencies, thereby providing support to the Indonesia market. Notably, Indonesia’s inflation has also moderated in recent months, providing leeway for the central bank to cut rates in a calibrated way.

Where can you find more resources on the Indonesian stock market? 

Conducting thorough research may allow us to capture growth opportunities and mitigate risks when investing in the Indonesian stock market.

The Indonesian Stock Exchange website offers additional resources for you to get the latest company announcements, products, services, and key trading statistics on the Indonesian stock market. 

Indonesian stock market at a glance 

The Indonesian stock market is the largest in Southeast Asia, with the total value of companies traded on the exchange, or market capitalisation, reaching close to Rp 12,000 trillion (US$ 748 billion).

Since 2015, the market capitalisation has grown by an average of 12% per year. In 2023, the market capitalisation increased by 23% compared to the previous year. 

The Indonesian stock market has also been buoyed by a boom in new listings, with 79 initial public offerings (IPOs) raising total proceeds of Rp 54,135 billion (US$3.55 billion) in 2023. 

Some of the listings include PT Amman Mineral Internasional Tbk (IDX: AMMN), which operates Indonesia’s second largest gold and copper mine, PT Trimegah Bangun Persada Tbk (IDX: NCKL), one of Indonesia’s largest nickel mining companies, and PT Merdeka Battery Materials Tbk (IDX: MBMA), which is involved in nickel and cobalt mining. 

Companies listed on the IDX are largely in the consumer cyclicals sector, which represents about 16.9% of all companies listed. Other sectors which have a sizeable representation on the IDX include the consumer staples sector, the financial sector, and the basic materials sector. 

Investing in Indonesia

About ASEAN Exchanges

ASEAN Exchanges is a collaboration among the exchanges in the ASEAN countries with the objectives of promoting greater integration of the ASEAN capital markets, enhancing the visibility of ASEAN as an asset class, and strengthening ASEAN as an attractive investment destination for both ASEAN and global investors.

Current participating ASEAN exchanges (“Member Exchanges”) are Bursa Malaysia Berhad, Indonesia Stock Exchange, The Philippine Stock Exchange, Singapore Exchange, The Stock Exchange of Thailand, and Vietnam Exchange. 

More information about ASEAN Exchanges can be found here.

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