“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BP Indonesia signs US$884 mln loan deal for Tangguh LNG project

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - BP Indonesia, the Indonesian arm of the UK's BP Plc, has signed an 884 million US dollar syndicated loan with six international financial institutions for additional funds to finance the Tangguh liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, the head of Indonesia's upstream oil and gas regulator (BP Migas) Kardaya Warnika said Wednesday.

The loan agreement was signed a few days ago with Intesa, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, DnB, Bank of China, Royal Bank of Scotland and Mitzuho, Warnika was quoted as saying by Thomspon Financial.

The syndicated loan will have a tenor of 15 years and an interest rate of LIBOR plus 0.335 percent.

BP and its partners have already signed a 2.6 billion US dollar agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Asian Development Bank and several international commercial banks to finance the Tangguh project.

The group is expecting to produce natural gas from the Bintuni Bay area in the easternmost province of Irian Jaya Barat, or Papua. The area has proven reserves of 14.4 trillion cubic feet and the project is expected to last for 30 years.

The project is expected to start commercial operation by early 2009.

BP has a 37.16 percent stake in the LNG project through wholly owned units BP Breau Ltd, BP Muturi Holds BV and BP Wiriagar Ltd, while China's CNOOC Ltd owns 16.96 percent.

Other owners include Nippon Oil Exploration with a 12.2 percent stake and LNG Japan Corp, a joint venture between Sumitomo Corp and Sojitz Holdings Corp, which owns 7.35 percent.

HSBC launches new payment system

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post): London-based Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) launched Tuesday its "Integrated Receivables Solutions" for Indonesia.

The service automates a client's entire cash collection process, including multiple payment channels and full administration of the payment reports, said HSBC Indonesia's head of payments Sunil Veetil.

HSBC's integrated receivables service has been specially tailored to suit Indonesia's growing local market of customers needing more efficient cash-flow management.

It is particularly suited to retail collection, which involves high volumes and small values, with payors spread across the country.

Government plans tender for Palapa Ring project

TeleGeography.com

Indonesia’s Information and Communication Minister Muhammad Nuh says the government will launch a tender for its Palapa Ring project – a fibre-optic network spanning Surabaya, East Java – on 10 November 2007. If completed, the new network could provide telephony and internet services to some 40,000 villages. The Jakarta Post reports that the state also plans to make provision for Wi-Fi infrastructure in east Indonesia where telecoms networks are currently woefully underdeveloped, and will offer free hotspots to boost internet uptake.

The Palapa Ring project, which was initiated in January 2005 during the first Indonesia Infrastructure Summit, is part of the government's plan to boost telecommunications penetration in the country, which currently stands at 20%.

The construction of a fibre-optic ring will connect Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua, and eight network connections, or backhauls. With an estimated 35,280km of submarine and 21,807km of terrrestrial fibre-optic cable, the project would connect 33 provinces and 440 cities. Construction is expected to start in early 2008 and the ring network is expected to enter into full operation in 2011.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Toyota asked to increase investment in Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has asked Toyota Motor Corp (TMC) to increase its investment in Indonesia by expanding its production capacity considering the fact that the Japanese car maker is the automotive market leader in Indonesia.

"We hope that Toyota which is the automotive market leader here will increase its investment in order to maintain its major market-share in Indonesia," Director General for Transportation Equipment Industry Budi Darmadi said here on Tuesday.

He said Toyota through PT Toyota Astra Motor (TAM) was the automotive market leader as it controlled 30 percent of the automotive market in Indonesia.

Demand for Toyota brand cars was continuing to increase significantly, he said.

"At present demand for Toyota cars, particularly the Avanza, Rush and Innova models, is increasing. The span of indent orders has even reached three months," the director general said.

In response to a question on TMC`s request to improve access facilities to Tanjung Priok port, the director general said the government already had medium- and long-term plans to improve the access system to the port.

"The government already has plans to overcome the bottle-neck into the port in the next few years," he said adding that the plans included the development of a flyover to overcome traffic jams in industrial zones.

Twelve gas contracts worth $6.8 billion signed

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Twelve companies here Tuesday signed purchase and sale contracts on 1.672 trillion British thermal units (TBTU) of natural gas worth US$6.8 billion.

The signing was done at the opening of an Asia Pacific Oil and Natural Gas Conference in the presence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The contracts were between:

1. State electricity firm PT PLN and Kangean Energi Indonesia (KEI) Ltd, for the supply of 369 TBTU worth US$1,364 million, for 18 years;

2. PT Pertagas and KEI Ltd, for the supply of 220.9 TBTU worth US$806.01 million for 10 years;

3. PT Indogas Kriya Dwiguna and KEI Ltd, for the supply of 79.241 TBTU worth US$293.19 million for 11 years;

4. PT Inti Alasindo Energy and Husky Oil (Madura) Ltd, for the supply of 170.4 TBTU worth US$734.40 million, for 20 years starting in 2012.

5. PT Parna Raya and Husky Oil (Madura) Ltd, for the supply of 170.4 TBTU worth US$734.40 million, for 20 years starting in 2012;

6. State-owned gas company PT PGN Tbk and Husky Oil (Madura) Ltd, for the supply of 85.2 TBTU worth US$367.20 million, for 20 years starting in 2012;

7. PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) and Kalila (Bentu) Ltd, for the supply of 84.5 TBTU worth US$381.09 million, for 14 years starting in 2007.

8. PT Energasindo Heksa Karya and ConocoPhillips (Grissik) Ltd, for the supply of 65.7 TBTU worth US$269.13 million, for eight years starting in 2008.

9. PT Energasindo Heksa Karya and Costa (International) Ltd, for the supply of 24.147 TBTU worth US$129.54 million, for eight years starting in 2008.

10. PT Petro Kimia Gersik and KEI Ltd, for the supply of 188.9 TBTU worth US$646.63 million, for 20 years starting in 2010.

11. PT Pupuk Iskandar Muda and Medco Malaka, for the supply of 200.6 TBTU worth US$1.043 billion, for seven years starting in 2010.

12. PT Gasuma Corporindo and PT Pertamina (Persero), Pertamina EP, PetroChina International Java Ltd, and Medco E&P Tuban, for the supply of 13.14 TBTU worth US$21.02 million, for six years starting in 2008.

Pertamina to import two million gas cylinders from Taiwan

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State oil and gas company Pertamina plans to import two million 3-kg gas cylinders from Taiwan to speed up the government`s kerosene-to-gas conversion program, its vice president director said.

"Domestic gas cylinder makers are likely to miss the target of producing six million 3-kg gas cylinders and therefore, Pertamina is applying for a permit to import around two million 3-kg gas cylinders from Taiwan," Iin Arifin Takhyan said here Tuesday.

Actually, Pertamina needed 4.6 million 3-kg gas cylinders, he said.

In their meeting with the Industry Ministry recently, domestic gas cylinder producers admitted they would have difficulties fulfilling the demand for 4.6 million 3-kg gas cylinders, he said.

"The import will only be made in 2007. In 2008 I think domestic producers will be able to meet the demand," he said.

The plan to import gas cylinders was part of the government program to procure 10 million 3-kg gas cylinders, he said.

Indonesia's Gapuraprima eyeing REIT listing in S'pore

By Loh Kim Chin, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 29 October 2007 1933 hrs

SINGAPORE: Indonesian property developer Gapuraprima Group wants to raise about S$360 million through a property trust on the Singapore Exchange.

The REIT, to be launched early next year, will be done in partnership with a Malaysian government-linked firm, Amanah Raya.

It will be based on a portfolio of shopping malls in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Gapuraprima boasts assets of US$500 million. Its unit, Perdana Gapuraprima, made its debut on the Jakarta Stock Exchange on Sunday.

The property group said it is optimistic about the property sector in Indonesia.

Rudy Margono, President Director of Gapuraprima Group, said: "Property is in the booming period. The foreign ownership programme by the government to push up the property demand especially the growth of the mid-segment level, I think, will drive the property (demand) up in the next five years."

Gapuraprima plans to expand aggressively by developing five new projects in Jakarta and its surrounding suburbs.

Perdana Gapuraprima is in talks to buy a hotel in either Bali or Jakarta.

The Gapuraprima Group is also planning a local-currency bond issue worth 300 billion rupiah to fund the acquisition.

Indonesia launches tender for 26 oil and gas blocks

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government on Tuesday launched a tender for 26 oil-and-gas blocks to boost the country's oil and gas production.

"In order to maintain our oil and gas reserves, we need to intensify exploration and today we are happy to announce the opening of 26 exploration blocks for a bidding process," Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro was quoted by Thomson Financial as saying.

Yusgiantoro said 21 of the blocks being tendered are new blocks, while five had been offered previously but were not awarded.

The oil and gas blocks that were offered today include the Bawean II, East Bawean I, Situbondo, and the North East Madura blocks onshore and offshore East Java province, as well as the South Barito (onshore and offshore) and Mahakam Hilir (onshore) blocks on Kalimantan island.

ADB provides US$ 400 mln for health, education services for Indonesia`s poorest

Mumbai (ANTARA News) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has approved a 400 mln usd financial assistance package for Indonesia that will make education and health services more readily available for the country's poorest families.

ADB's assistance package supports Indonesia's ongoing efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and targets on poverty reduction, health, education and gender equity.

To date Indonesia remains on track to meet its MDG targets on primary school enrolment, however many children are not making the transition to junior secondary education, the bank was quoted by Thomson Financial as saying.

In the health sector, maternal mortality rates are still significantly higher than those seen in many neighbouring Southeast Asian nations. HIV/AIDS rates remain low, but are on the rise, ADB said.

Despite the overall progress Indonesia is making in many areas, significant disparities still exist between the country's most affluent and poorest families on a number of MDG targets, the bank said.

The primary beneficiaries of ADB's support will be women and children from poor households who currently lack sufficient access to quality education and health services, ADB said.

The eight Millennium Development Goals were established in 2001, and are aimed to be achieved by 2015.

S Korea to build hospital in Aceh

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - South Korea plans to build a world-class hospital in tsunami-devastated Aceh province at a cost of Rp450 billion, an official said.

"Both sides have reached an agreement on the construction of the hospital. It now depends on the availability of land suitable for the hospital," Aceh Deputy Governor Muhammad Nazar said on Monday.

He said the local government had offered South Korea to build the hospital in the province`s eastern coast (Pidie to Aceh Tamiang) or southwestern coast (West Aceh to Aceh Singkil).

"It is unlikely to build the hospital in Banda Aceh where the construction of a world-class hospital funded by the German government is underway," he said.

Aceh bore the brunt of an undersea 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami on December 26, 2004, leaving around 200,000 people dead and hundreds of thoundands of others displaced.

KADIN calls for speedy improvement of sea-port facilities

Nanning, China (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) has urged the government to soon improve facilities at Indonesian seaports as they were no longer adequate, thus often causing delays in the delivery of Indonesian exports.

"We want our sea transportation system to be improved, including its infrastructure as many export commodities such as coal, crude palm oil, oil and gas often get stuck due to conditions at our sea ports," KADIN Chairman MS Hidayat said here on Monday.

He made the statement amid the ongoing fourth China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) being held here October 28-31.

He said the government should also improve sea port facilities to prevent stagnation in the country`s exports.

Because of late delivery, Indonesian crude palm oil exports were often subjected to price deductions, he said

"Our crude palm oil businessmen often complain as their selling price are often deducted for arriving late," he said.

He said foreign importers preferred to buy the commodity from Malaysia as the latter always sent their commodity on time.

He added the transportation minister was trying to help solve the problem by calling on Chinese businessmen to invest in sea ports in Indonesia so their facilities could be improved.

The fourth expo which opened on Sunday aimed to enhance regional cooperation in port development.

It is meant to serve as a forum for cooperation between China and ASEAN in both trade and investment as well to speed up the conclusion of a China-ASEAB Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

ADB to provide loan for building highway from Penang to Medan

Medan (ANTARA News) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to provide a loan for the construction of infrastructure including a highway from Penang in Malaysia and Songkla in Thailand to Medan in Indonesia to improve the growth triangle cooperation.

"The result of an evaluation by the ADB has contributed a great deal to the development of the Indonesia- Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT)," Arthur M.D. Batubara, an executive of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), said here on Monday.

He made the statement after an audience with North Sumatra Governor Rudolf M Pardede to discuss the meeting between businessmen and farmers on the agricultural and plantation products from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to be held in Samosir, North Sumatra in November.

The ADB plan really make the government and businessmen of the three countries enjoy the benefits of the establishment of the IMT-GT.

As to the meeting between the businessmen and farmers of the three countries in Samosir, Arthur said that around 120 delegates from Malaysia and Thailand had expressed readiness to participate in the event.

In the meeting, Arthur hoped the cooperation between the farmers and agriculture/plantation businessmen in Malaysia, Thailand and North Sumatra could become a reality.

"Cooperation in making use of the plantations and agriculture sector in North Sumatra is quite feasible," he said.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Indonesia privatises part of toll road company

The Indonesian government sells 30% of Jasa Marga, pricing the IPO towards the top of the range to raise $380 million.

By Anette J├Ânsson, Financeasia.com, | 29 October 2007

PT Jasa Marga, Indonesia’s leading toll road operator, has raised Rp3.47 trillion ($380 million) from the country’s fourth largest initial public offering since the Asian financial crisis.

The deal is the second sell-down in an Indonesian government-owned company this year following the re-IPO of PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) at the end of July, which raised $774 million, of which about 43% went into the state coffers. The sale cut the government’s stake in BNI from 99.1% to about 73%.

Jasa Marga’s offering had a slow start, partly due to a set of Indonesian holidays during the roadshow, but the deal picked up pace and, when it closed on Friday, it was more than four times covered with participation from approximately 80 accounts, according to sources. This enabled the company to fix the price towards the top end of the range at Rp1,700. The shares were offered in a range between Rp1,400 and Rp1,800.

The company was selling 2.04 billion new shares, or 30% of the share capital, allowing the government to reduce its stake from 100% to 70%. About 40% of the institutional tranche went to international investors, while the remaining 60% was allocated to domestic Indonesian investors. Credit Suisse and UBS acted as lead managers for the international tranche and were also joint bookrunners together with Bahana Securities, Danareksa Sekuritas and Mandiri Sekuritas.

The final price values the toll road operator at about 22.5 times its projected 2008 earnings, which is at a premium to Malaysia’s largest toll road operator Plus Expressways at about 15 times.

Interest from domestic institutions in the deal is seen to have been boosted by a the fact that state-owned insurer (Jamsostek) Hotbonar Sinaga subscribed to Rp600 billion worth of Jasa Marga stock, according to the President Director as quoted by local media. However, observers note that there is quite a lot of interest in Indonesia from international investors at the moment on the back of strong economic growth numbers.

“Indonesia is picking up demand from people who want to put their money into something other than China and the amount of money pouring in from the US at the moment is just huge,” says one banker, noting that this is partly driven by a lack of confidence in domestic US assets and in the dollar.

“So people are taking money out and placing it somewhere overseas. That money is obviously chasing China, and it has been chasing India. However, many people, and hedge funds in particular, are very upset about the P-notes business and have been looking for another home for their investments. Some of that money is going into Indonesia,” he adds.

The Indonesian stockmarket has risen 45% year-to-date.

A clear sign of the interest is that investment banks are getting reverse inquiries from US investors looking for opportunities to increase their exposure to certain Indonesian stocks. The smaller IPO for privately owned blue-chip developer Ciputra Properties that closed on October 18 also attracted a strong following from both domestic and overseas investors, which prompted the company to increase the size of the deal to 49% of the share capital from the original 40%. This will allow it to raise about $230 million.

Ciputra’s final price hasn’t been confirmed yet, but a local newspaper has reported that the shares will be sold at Rp700 apiece, or towards the upper end of the Rp570 to Rp800 offering range. The deal was jointly arranged by Citi and Danareksa.

However, some investors were said to have been a bit hesitant about committing too much money at a high valuation to Jasa Marga in light of BNI’s poor performance following its offering. That deal was priced at the bottom of the indicative range, but even so, the stock fell through the offering price five days after the July 31 pricing and at one point traded as much as 20% below the re-IPO price of Rp2,050. It has recovered most of those losses, although on Friday it was still trading slightly below the offer price at Rp2,025.

Jasa Marga operates 492km of toll roads, or 78% of the country’s total toll roads, under 13 concessions from the government. It has also been awarded the contract to construct and operate three additional road projects that will connect to this existing toll road network and add another 119 km of roads. Just over half of the proceeds from the IPO will go towards the construction of these roads, while the remainder will be used to increase the traffic capacity on some of its existing roads. A small portion ($16.6 million) will be used to repay the principal on a Rp150 million billion bond that will mature in early-2008.

Among its key strengths, Jasa Marga lists its near 30-year experience in the operation of toll roads. Up until 2004 it also had a dual role as an operator and regulator of the Indonesian toll road industry, which makes it an “attractive” partner for other private toll road operator as the government continues to develop the country’s road infrastructure.

At present, Jasa Marga holds minority interests in other companies with a combined 130km of toll roads under their control, which represents about 21% of the country’s total toll roads.

The stock is scheduled to start trading on November 12.

Aside from BNI’s more than $774 million offering, which was led by JPMorgan and Bahana Securities and has to count as an IPO given the miniscule freefloat of less than 1% before the sale, Jasa Marga’s offering was also surpassed in size by TV network operator Media Nusantera Citra’s (MNC) $416 million IPO in June this year. The international portion of that deal was led by Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers and UBS.

According to Dealogic data, the country’s second largest IPO since the financial crises was the $484 million offering for Bank Rakyat Indonesia in 2003.

Ecolabel certified timber products the only way forward

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Indonesian Ecolabelling Institute (LEI) said it was working toward better managing the increased demand for ecolabel-certified timber products from Indonesia.

Indonesia's furniture and handicraft group (Asmindo) and furniture maker PT Setyamitra agreed on the weekend via a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together with LEI.

By signing the MOU, all groups have committed to preserve the environment, market products made from certified forests and to improve the quality of timber products using available new technologies.

LEI said it would ensure Setyamitra would supply high-quality seedlings for reforestation programs and would use modern wood-turning technologies.

"The MOU shows our commitment to boosting the growth of certified community forests," LEI executive director Taufiq Alimi said in a press statement.

"We are confident this cooperation and a certification program on community forests will mean we are able to protect community forests, improve the community's welfare and improve our furniture exports," Taufiq said.

LEI had also helped find enterprises in Wonogiri, Central Java, to partner Setyamitra in its new focus on ecolabel-certified, export-quality products, he said.

The furniture company said it would open a marketing office in Yogyakarta and a furniture outlet in Kemang, South Jakarta.

Asmindo chairman Ambar Tjahjono said his association had been interested in Setyamitra's green program because it was committed to use timber from well-managed industrial forests.

"We want all furniture companies and those using forest products as raw materials to follow Setyamitra's example in preserving the environment and rejecting the use of illegal logging," he said.

Alimi said Indonesia's forested areas had declined to 90 million hectares.

He said only 1.1 million hectares were managed in accordance with the sustainable development program.

"We expect to certify community forests along the southern part of Java," he said.

"And we are pushing certification for customary forests in Sui Utik village, Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan.

"There are some major forestry firms currently in the process of certification.

"Hopefully, some 3 million hectares of forest will get LEI certification by 2009", he said.

LEI's communication manager Indra Setia said the growing demand for ecolabel-certified wood products had had a profound impact on the furniture sector, including buyers, agents and industry associations.

"Most are asking LEI how and where to get ecolabel-certified timber to meet their clients' demands," Indra said.

"We usually refer them to companies that have received ecolabel certification from LEI, particularly community forests in the southern part of Central Java."

Wonogiri regency in Central Java and Gunung Kidul regency in Yogyakarta have 5,200 hectares of community forest areas that are ecolabel certified.

The forests have an annual production of 90 cubic meters of wood.

Dompu regency turns to the sea for better future

Panca Nugraha, The Jakarta Post, Dompu-NTB

Dompu might be an unfamiliar name for many but its pristine Lakey beach has made it popular among local and foreign surfers wanting to ride the waves.

Located on the south of Sumbawa Island in West Nusa Tenggara, the beach has hosted many international surfing contests, from the Dompu Indonesia Open to the Dompu-USA Surfing.

The latest event was held in mid-August, with dozens of surfers from Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa and the U.S.

"Dompu is finally becoming known in the outside world due to Lakey beach," Dompu Regent Syaifurrahman Salman told The Jakarta Post.

"But Dompu does not only have Lakey beach, we also have a very promising marine resources, not only tourism. We will continue developing these resources."

Dompu regency is located in the center of Sumbawa Island, in between Sumbawa and Bima regencies.

With an area covering 2,324 square kilometers, Dompu regency has 1,298 square km of beaches and three bays -- Saleh and Sanggar bays in the north, and Cempi bay on the south.

Apart from fishing, Dompu regency, home to 206,126 people, also boasts seaweed and pearl farming potential.

The regency has the potential to grow seaweed on 1,298 hectares in six districts -- Woja, Manggalewa, Kempo, Pekat, Huru and Kilo. Only two districts -- Dompu and Pajo -- are not suitable for seaweed farming.

However, only 85 hectares in two districts, Manggalewa and Kempo, are currently growing seaweed.

"Dompu should be able to produce at least 12,000 tons of seaweed a year but currently, we are only able to produce 10-20 tons annually. The main problem is low investment. That is why we are trying to bring investors here," Syaifurrahman said.

He said that so far the regency administration has convinced a Japanese company to develop seaweed in Dompu. The administration and the company signed a cooperation agreement earlier this year.

He said that under the agreement, the company will set up a company to directly process the seaweed in Dompu. The factory is expected to employ Dompu residents.

"Apart from growing seaweed, the company will also set up a processing factory in Dompu. Seaweed is a really good ingredient to serve as a basic material in the cosmetic and food industry," he said.

Dompu regency administration is currently working hard to promote the cultured pearl industry.

The regency has the potential to develop cultured pearl on 1,967 hectares of land in 25 different locations. However, only 329 hectares in seven locations in Pekat district have been exploited by Jakarta-based company. The rest remain untouched.

"We're working to promote cultured pearl business potential to other provinces and even abroad. For investors wanting to invest in Dompu, we will welcome and assist them."

Jaya Konstruksi to go public next month

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

PT Jaya Konstruksi Manggala Pratama, a construction company, is set to offer 300 million new shares -- equivalent to 10.22 percent of its capital -- in an initial public offering next month to finance its operation and expansion plans.

"We plan to offer the shares to the public from Nov. 12 to 14 this year and will list them on the Jakarta Stock Exchange on Nov. 20," Jaya Konstruksi president director Trisna Muliadi told Antara on Friday.

Trisna, however, would not say how much the shares would go for at the offering.

He said 30 percent of the IPO proceedings would be used to strengthen the company's financial structure, 30 percent to expand its business and the remaining 40 percent to fund new investments.

The IPO will be underwritten by PT Indo Premier Securities.

Jaya Konstruksi last year booked Rp 1.48 trillion in revenue with a profit of Rp 80.21 billion. Its earnings in the first seven months of this year amounted to Rp 727.59 billion with a profit of Rp 53.64 billion.

Jaya Konstruksi has been in charge of several property projects, including Menteng Park in Central Jakarta. The company, established in 1961, has also ventured into trade and construction materials manufacturing. It is 94.85 percent owned by PT Pembangunan Jaya.

Norway down to business in Aceh

The Jakarta Post

Norway's Ambassador Bjorn Blokhus attended an inauguration ceremony Saturday in the Aceh provincial capital Banda Aceh for a new employers' association building, signing a plaque to mark the occasion.

Witnessing the signing were provincial secretary Husni Bahari Tob, Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) chairman Sofyan Wanandi, the chairman of Apindo's Aceh chapter, M. Dahlan, and the project manager for the building, Asbjorn Rosseth.

Also attending the ceremony were senior Apindo and Aceh administration officials and businesspeople.

Rosseth said the building was constructed with US$4 million in financial aid from the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO), with the goal of empowering small and medium enterprises affected by the 2004 tsunami.

NHO also has financed a series of training programs for small-scale businesswomen in the province, and has provided equipment such as sewing and cooking machines to empower home and handicraft industries.

Sofyan and Dahlan expressed their gratitude to the Norwegian government for its financial and moral support for Aceh, especially the local business community, following the devastating tsunami.

Indonesian festival to be held in Melbourne

The Jakarta Post

BRISBANE (Antara): A three-day Indonesian festival will be held in Melbourne, Australia, from Nov. 9 to 12, the Indonesian Consulate General spokesman in Melbourne, Jaha Gultom, told Antara by phone on Monday.

He said an investment forum, trade show, cultural performance and food bazaar would feature in the festival, which was being organized by the Indonesian Consulate General in Melbourne.

"The theme of the Indonesian festival this year is Sulawesi. Delegations from at least 15 provincial administrations have confirmed they would take part in the event," Gultom said, adding more than a hundred Australian business groups would attend.

He said the annual festival, which was held for the first time in Melbourne in 2005, was an event conducted to promote investment and trade between the two countries.

At the festival, Australian businesspeople will have the opportunity to talk with Indonesian business officials from central and regional governments.

Malaysia launches 33.2 billion dollar development plan

Kuala Trengganu (ANTARA News) - Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Monday launched a 33.2 billion dollar economic plan aimed at boosting growth and reducing poverty in Malaysia's rural east.

The East Coast Economic Corridor (ECER) project, drawn up by national oil company Petronas, is the third and final of a series of big-spending development master plans which have been rolled out ahead of expected snap polls.

The government said the 12-year plan was designed to create 560,000 new jobs and raise income levels for nearly 4 million people -- some 15 percent of the population.

It will involve more than 200 projects in transportation, infrastructure, tourism, education, manufacturing, the oil and gas industries and agriculture.

"The launch of the ECER and its master plan signals a push to accelerate the growth of the eastern region in a viable, equitable and sustainable manner aimed at raising incomes and reducing poverty," the government was quoted by Thomson Financial as saying in a statement.

The ECER covers about 51 percent of peninsular Malaysia's land mass, taking in the rural Malay heartland states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor state.

Abdullah launched the ECER in Terengganu state, which along with neighboring Kelantan is expected to form the frontline of national elections tipped to be held by early 2008.

Kelantan, the only state not held by the coalition, is governed by the fundamentalist Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) which also commands strong support in Terengganu.

In the last elections in 2004, PAS lost control of Terengganu but managed to hold on to Kelantan with a slim majority.

Political observers say Abdullah is hoping to capitalise on the trickle-down effect of the three development projects, which target the underdeveloped east, north and south of the country -- far from the bustling capital Kuala Lumpur.

In July, he launched the 51 billion dollar Northern Corridor Economic Region master plan to spur economic growth in the northern states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak over the next 18 years.

Earlier this year he also kicked off the Iskandar Development Region in southern Johor state which aims to capitalise on its proximity with neighboring Singapore and turn the region into a new Asian metropolis.

Indonesia invites China to take part in seaport development

Nanning, China (ANTARA News) - The government has invited Chinese investors to participate in building modernizing seaports in Indonesia.

Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal made the statement when attending a China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, Guangxi, China, from October 28 to 31 this year.

The minister expressed hoped that China would invest in seaport construction in effort in Indonesia to help modernize a number of seaports.

Citing examples, the minister said that several seaports in Indonesia such as Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Emas in Semarang (Central Java), Tanjung Perak in Surabaya (East Java), Cirebon in West Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi should be developed into international ports.

"We also invited Chinese businessmen to invest in several harbours which have yet to become operational such as the one in Bojonegoro (East Java)," he said.

Jusman said Indonesia has 977 seaports of which only 141 are ocean ports.

"But we need only 25 international-standard harbours,so that it would make us easier and more practical to maintain their safety and security aspects," he cited.

During the CAEXPO, transportation ministers from ASEAN member countries and China were also scheduled to hold a meeting to consolidate in seaport business, he added.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Golden Tulip opens office in Asia.

4Hoteliers.com, Tuesday, 23rd October 2007

Source : Golden Tulip Hospitality Group

Golden Tulip South East Asia will focus on developing and servicing hotels in the region including, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar.

The Regional Office aims to establish Golden Tulip Hotels, Inns & Resorts as a leading hotel chain in the region, while introducing the four brands of the chain: 5 stars Royal Tulip, 4 stars Golden Tulip and Golden Tulip Resort and the economy business 3 stars brand Tulip Inn. The office will furthermore develop the necessary infrastructure to provide maximum support to investors and owners.

Golden Tulip South East Asia aims to achieve a portfolio of 40 hotels in a four years period by both converting existing hotels into Royal Tulips, Golden Tulips and Tulip Inns as well as developing new hotels.

The main focus will be to develop economy business hotels in the main capital cities and the four and five star brands, Royal Tulip and Golden Tulip Resorts in the various resorts in S.E. Asia.

Golden Tulip South East Asia Ltd., will be led by Mr. Mark A.M. van Ogtrop, who joined Golden Tulip as the Managing Director and Senior Vice President of Golden Tulip South East Asia. Mr. van Ogtrop brings along more than twenty five years of experience in the hotel business, having started already in the 80’s with Golden Tulip in Europe. He has worked in 3 continents and has over 10 years experience in Asia, having worked with The Peninsula Group in Hong Kong and Dusit Hotels & Resorts in Thailand. Mr. van Ogtrop was Area Manager for Dorint Hotels in Europe prior to joining Golden Tulip.

Hans Kennedie, President & CEO of Golden Tulip Hospitality Group states: “I am very pleased with the opening of Golden Tulip South East Asia office. Our aim is to establish a strong position in the region through the development of management agreements for existing and new hotels. I am confident that together with our new office and the full roll out of our management and marketing formulas we will achieve the targets set.”

Mark van Ogtrop, Senior Vice President & Managing Director for South East Asia adds: “We enter with great enthusiasm into this business adventure. Golden Tulip’s brand recognition and its proven success track record gives us the necessary tools to develop new projects in this region. We have received a lot of positive feedback and both in the economy business sector for main cities as well as for resort hotels there is still a lot of potential and opportunities for growth in various countries in the region.”

Gap pulls 'child labour' clothing

BBC News

Fashion chain Gap has withdrawn from sale children's clothing allegedly made using forced child labour in India.

A 10-year-old boy was filmed making clothes for Gap shops in the US and Europe as part of an investigation by the UK's Observer newspaper.

The boy told the Observer he had been sold to a factory owner by his family.

Gap, which has made commitments not to use child labour, said that only one item - a girl's smock blouse - was involved.

The boy said he had been working for four months without pay and would not be allowed to leave the job until the fee his family had received was repaid.

Another boy of 12 said children were beaten if bosses thought they were not working hard enough, the paper reported.

Dan Henkle, a spokesman for Gap, said: "We were made aware earlier this week that a reporter had found an incident of children working in a factory that was producing for one of our brands, and this is completely unacceptable to us.

"We have a strict prohibition on child labour, and we are taking this very seriously. This is very upsetting and we intend to investigate thoroughly."

Emergency meeting

The spokesman said Gap monitors factories which make its clothing and in 2006 revoked approval for 23 factories which it said failed to comply with its standards.

Mr Henkle also said the company was calling an emergency meeting with its suppliers in the region.

The smock blouse will not be offered for sale in the company's 3,000 stores around the world, Gap said, and instead will be destroyed.

Western clothing chains increasingly get their products made in Asia, taking advantage of cheaper labour.

Indonesia`s record-breaking bridge on shaky foundations

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has brushed aside fears of graft and disaster to pursue plans to build the world's largest suspension bridge -- in one of the most earthquake-prone areas on earth.

The planned Sunda Strait bridge will cross at least 29 kilometres (18 miles) between the country's two most populous islands, Java and Sumatra, and pass at its closest point a mere 50 kilometres from the still-active Krakatau volcano.

That volcano's famous 1883 eruption killed an estimated 36,000 people, mostly from resulting tsunamis.

The current proposal follows the signing of an agreement between two provinces on opposite sides of the strait at the start of October, and represents the culmination of a 40-year dream of connecting the islands.

The 10-billion-dollar bridge, which is in the "pre-feasiblity" study phase, will pass over three smaller islands and include a single uninterrupted span 2.5 kilometres long.

Professor Wiratman Wangsadinata, whose consultancy is involved in the study, says the planned bridge will be around 200 kilometres from the "subduction zone" where the Australian and Asian plates come together.

Wangsadinata says that records show the maximum earthquake that can occur in the zone is 8.5 on the Richter scale. He says plans will work on the assumption that no higher earthquake can occur in that area as the biggest recorded in the region was 8.0.

The bridge will be safe, he says, but it will require international help to pull off.

"To tell you frankly, maybe our expertise domestically is not enough to solve all the problems associated with this project. So we are going to invite experts from all over the world to participate, to give advice and also active participation in the study, in the design, and later on in the construction," he said.

Pri Hariadi, from the Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency, thinks Wangsadinata makes the right assumptions, saying: "I believe that (an earthquake) will not pass the 8.5 record."

It will be a long time before the project can be considered safe -- the pre-feasiblity study is scheduled to be completed in 2009 and the feasibility study in 2013 -- but if it does get the green light it will go some way to filling Indonesia's massive infrastructure shortfall.

The Sunda Strait is a key transit point for goods and people between the two islands.

At the moment, around 350,000 people and 25,000 vehicles cross the strait daily in a fleet of between 20 and 30 rusting ferries. The breakdown of only a handful of these ships can cause traffic to snarl for more than a dozen kilometres.

But safety is not the only concern with the plans for the bridge.

Fear of high price tag

The bridge's high price tag -- and the high risk involved in such a long term project -- means there is a possibility the project will fall victim to the kind of cosy financial arrangements that plague business in Indonesia, according to economist and member of Indonesia Corruption Watch, Faisal Basri.

Basri says the head of the construction company currently pushing the bridge, Artha Graha's Tommy Winata, will not go ahead with the project without the involvement of at least some of the nation's big business families.

He says at least one of three big companies -- the Bakrie Group, owned by the family of Coordinating Minister for the People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie, a member of former dictator Suharto's Golkar Party; Bukaka, owned by Vice President and Golkar member Jusuf Kalla; and Bosawa, owned by Kalla's brother-in-law, Aksa Mahmud -- will be let in on the project.

"Tommy Winata of Artha Graha will cooperate with one of them -- no doubt," he said.

Wangsadinata himself is candid about the bridge's ability to attract unsavoury attention. However, he says the fact the project will be done by the private sector -- and funded by foreign investment -- means the risk of corruption will be much lower.

Wangsadinata says dealing with bureaucracy will be the biggest corruption risk. But even with this, he concedes he may not "succeed a hundred percent".

Experts to debate third Euro-Asia rail link

Chinadaily.com

If constructed, the railway will be the third linking Asia and Europe.

The seminar, to be held in the Yunnan capital, has been co-organized by the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences and the provincial development and reform commission.

Ren Jia, the academy's deputy director, said: "The idea to build such a rail link was first proposed in the 1990s, but this will be the first time a full-scale seminar has been held to discuss the subject."

Currently, there are two cross-continental railways: The Euro-Asian rail link, which runs 13,000 km from Vladivostok in Russia to Rotterdam, and the 10,900-km New Euro-Asian Continental Bridge, which runs from Lianyungang in Jiangsu Province to Rotterdam.

The proposed third route will further boost the already flourishing trade ties between China and Europe and Central Asian countries, experts said.

The value of Sino-EU trade exceeded $256 billion in the first three quarters of the year, up 27.8 percent year on year.

The railway will also provide an impetus for the development of hinterland provinces in the southwest of the country, Ren said.

Yunnan, in particular, will benefit from unprecedented development opportunities as the hub for such a key rail link, he said.

India's NTPC eyeing JV with Indonesian firm-paper

Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:11am BST

MUMBAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Indian state-run power producer NTPC Ltd (NTPC.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) may form a joint venture with Indonesian coal producer PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam Tbk (PTBA) (PTBA.JK: Quote, Profile, Research) to ensure fuel supplies for its projects, the Economic Times said.

Quoting unidentified sources, the paper said NTPC wants to set up two joint venture operations with PTBA, one to provide engineering support to develop a power plant and another for a coal mine.

"If the talks succeed, the two sides could sign an MoU (memorandum of understanding) for development of a thermal power plant and a coal mine," the newspaper quoted an unidentified Indian power ministry official as saying.

The official said officials from NTPC were soon expected to visit Indonesia to hold final discussions with PTBA on the issue.

A NTPC spokesman could not be immediately reached for a comment.

The paper said NTPC would mainly use the coal deal with PTBA to feed a proposed 500 megawatt power plant in Sri Lanka.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bloggers make noise - and it's getting bigger all the time

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

At least 358 bloggers plan to take part in the country's first national blog meeting on Saturday.

Speaking to The Jakarta Post on the development and prospects of blogs, particularly in Indonesia, Budi Putra of the Asia Blogging Network said Friday he invited anyone interested in blogging or "citizen journalism" to attend Pesta Blogger.

The Asia Blogging Network is a Jakarta-based world media network providing technology, sports, lifestyle, and entertainment-based postings in more than 70 blogs.

"We invite not only bloggers, but also those who do and will have connections with blogs to come to the gathering, which will take place on Saturday," Budi said.

The gathering will start at 10:30 a.m. at the country's biggest movie theater, the Blitz Megaplex in Grand Indonesia, Central Jakarta.

"We're also expecting representatives of Linux and Microsoft to come but still hoping it will be as casual as possible," said Budi, also a member of the event's organizing committee.

The initial response of the country's bloggers was so enthusiastic that the committee doubled the number of invites to 400.

"Many bloggers are so interested to come they... are willing to spend money on airplane tickets and hotel rooms," said Budi.

In addition, committee chairperson Enda Nasution said in a press statement: "We also have to move the location from the previous Hard Rock Cafe (in Plaza Indonesia, Central Jakarta) to Blitz Megaplex because of the huge number of potential participants."

According to Budi, not only will the gathering be a common ground for bloggers to meet on, but also a place for discussions on successful blogging.

"We'll set up discussions through which people will hopefully learn about the kinds of opportunities they can have in blogging," said the former Tempo journalist who is now a full-time blogger.

"Indonesia has so much potential to grow its blogs and make themglobally popular," he said.

Budi said that the blog industry in the country, which "supposedly can create business profits, is still silent although the number of active players is quite huge".

There are more than 150,000 Indonesian bloggers, at least 60 percent of whom are "active bloggers". That number doubles every six months, according to Budi.

He also says the Indonesian language ranks in the top 10 most active language used in blogs and that Jakartan bloggers rank second among the most active commentators in the world.

More than 500 participants attend blogger party

JAKARTA (JP): More than 500 bloggers in the country attended Saturday the first blogger gathering here, an official at the organizing committee said.

The gathering, named Blogger Party 2007, lured participants from Jakarta to the conflict ridden town of Poso in Central Sulawesi.

Columnist Wimar Witoelar and movie director Joko Anwar are among the participants of the party.

AmanahRaya REIT eyes JV with Indonesia's Gapura

by Lim Yu Min, TheEdgedaily.com, 26-10-2007

KUALA LUMPUR: AmanahRaya Real Estate Investment Trust (AmanahRaya REIT) is negotiating with Indonesia’s fourth-largest listed property management group, Gapura Prima to undertake a joint venture (JV).

AmanahRaya REIT managing director Datuk Mohamed Azahari Mohamed Kamil said on Oct 26 the JV would look in to the possibility of establishing a regional REIT to be listed in Singapore.

Both parties are now undertaking property valuations, and the submission of the valuations to the Singpore Stock Exchange is expected to be done by the end of this year.

“We hope to be listed on the Singapore’s stock exchange in the first quarter of next year. We are looking to acquire five properties in Indonesia and another two in Malaysia. The total assets for these seven anchor properties for the REIT is US$200 million (RM680 million),” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the AmanahRaya REIT unit-holders meeting where it had obtained the approval to place out up to100 million new units with an indicative issue price of 93 sen per unit, and to acquire five more properties at RM308.67 million.

Three of the properties would be acquired from Amanah Raya Bhd, as trustees for Kumpulan Wang Bersama. The acquisition would be funded by equity at RM227.2 million and by debt at RM81.47 million. The financing exercise is likely to be completed by the end of the year.

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RI Offers power sector investment opportunity to U.S business delegation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Indudstry has offered an opportunity to a United States trade delegation grouped in the US-ASEAN Business Council for Indonesia for investment in the electricity sector.

"Our energy policy now is building coal-fired power plants. And we are also using hydro and geothermal energy in power generation because it is cleaner," Minister of Industry Fahmi Idris said after receiving a 30-member American business delegation grouped in the US-ASEAN Business Council untuk Indonesia, in Jakarta on Friday.

He said that the Ministry of Industry offered the US businesspeople an opportunity for investment in the power sector on the special consideration that the United States has the technology for building geothermal power plants.

Right now, he said, the government cannot recommend gas for use as alternative energy as the government has decided to export this commodity and use it only for industrial establishments.

"We are only using gas for export and for industrial purposes, such as for the fertilizer industry, as gas is the main component in the production of fertilizers. It is also used by the ceramic industry," he said.

He also said that the use of turbines in Indonesia produces only two megawatts (MW), and this is too small. Therefore, he added, the government wished to invite foreign investors with a technology to build higher capacity turbines in Indonesia.

Fahmi said Indonesia wished to build power plants with a capacity to raise power generation from 2 MW to 7 MW, and even to 600 MW. It is for these purposes, he said, that the government has invited so many foreign investors to build the electricity sector in Indonesia.

He told the American business delegation that the government has established cooperation with Iceland in building geothermal power plants, while that country was also keen to produce aluminium in Indonesia.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Save the Children builds 41 schools in Aceh

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - International non-governmental organization Save the Children is reported to have built some 41 schools in a number of areas across Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province.

The organization`s spokesman, Mark Fritzler, said here on Friday that of the 41 schools, 19 were already being used for teaching and learning activities.

"We are happy we can help children in Aceh resume their schooling after their school buildings were obliterated by the December 26, 2004 powerful earthquake and the ensuing devastating tsunami," Mark Fritzler said.

He expressed hope that the schools which had been and were going to be built in Aceh would help Aceh children get a better education that would ensure them of a better future.

Constructing the schools in Aceh is part of the Save the Children`s program which covers child protection, provision of health services, livelihood support and public food resilience.

In addition, Save the Children also organized teachers` training and comparative study programs.

Mark said he had also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pidi Jaya district administration through the local education office on the construction of a permanent elementary school at Cot Lheu Rheng village in Trienggadeng sub district.

He said construction of the permanent school was expected to be finished by March 2008.

While waiting for the completion of the permanent school, Mark said, his organization had to build temporary schools to enable local children to continue their studies.

"Although we have to face many challenges, Save the Children will do its best for children in Aceh," Mark said, adding that the organization had been operating in the province for more than 30 years.

The international Save the Children alliance is the world`s largest independent movement for children and works in over 100 countries , often with local and other partner organizations.

Save the Children has been working with conflict-affected people in Indonesia since 1999 and centered its work in Aceh on disaster response following the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Straits Asia to buy two more Indonesian coal mining concessions

Singapore (ANTARA News) - Straits Asia Resources, a Singapore-listed coal mining subsidiary of Australia's Straits Resources, said late Thursday it has agreed to buy two more coal mining concessions near its coal mines on the Indonesian island of Sebuku.

The company said it is conducting due diligence and will pay 25 million US dollars once the due diligence is completed.

A further 114 million dollars will be paid once Indonesian government approvals have been secured, the company told Thomson Financial.

The two concessions are estimated to have coal reserves of 34-50 million tonnes, of which 4 million tonnes can be mined immediately.

"This acquisition offers further tremendous potential for growth of our business beyond our goal of 6 million tonnes production in 2009," said Straits Asia chief executive Richard Ong.

This is the second acquisition announced by Straits Asia in recent months. Last month, the company signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of a thermal coal mining operation in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan.