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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        27  May 2011

Indian coal miner seeks Indo stake

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Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, is in advanced talks to buy up to a 40 percent stake in Indonesia's Golden Energy Mines in a deal valued at between $750 million and $1 billion, three sources with direct knowledge said on Thursday.

Golden Energy is a coal-mining subsidiary of energy and infrastructure firm Dian Swastatika Sentosa. It is estimated to have 400 million tons of reserves. It owns 10 coal mining areas across Indonesia, including in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

State-run Coal India, in which the government sold a 10 percent stake for $3.4 billion last year in the country's largest initial public offering, is halfway through the due diligence for the Golden Energy asset, two of the sources said. The Indian company will submit a final bid by the end of June, they said.

United Tractors, Indonesia's biggest heavy equipment provider, has withdrawn from the bidding process for the asset, sources said. The sources declined to be named as the information is not public.

Officials at Coal India, headquartered in Kolkata, and Dian Swastatika in Jakarta could not be reached for a comment. Dian Swastatika Sentosa is owned by Sinar Mas Group, one of Indonesia's leading conglomerates.

Golden Energy corporate secretary Eddy Salimah said the company was in talks with six firms, including Coal India, over the stake sale. Golden Energy also plans to sell shares in an IPO in August at Rp 2,300 to Rp 3,500 each, he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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