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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        10  March 2011

Indonesia cutting back on IPOs

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Indonesia said on Wednesday it was scaling back plans to float several state-owned companies on the stock market, and would carry out just one initial public offering in 2011.

"This year we will launch only one state-owned company in an IPO," said Pandu Djajanto, deputy minister for state-owned enterprises.

The government had previously said it would float up to 10 state firms this year in addition to airline Garuda Indonesia, which made its debut on the Jakarta bourse in February.

"We want to be more selective and take more time for preparation. We want to be more cautious," Djajanto said.

The move follows a disappointing debut by Garuda. Shares in the airline plunged 17.3 percent after its listing, as analysts deemed the offering price of Rp 750 rupiah too expensive.

But Djajanto said the scaling back of IPO plans was unrelated to Garuda's plunge, adding that the government would still float the Semen Baturaja cement company on the stock market this year.

Indonesia, Asean's largest economy, had a good 2010 as its main stock index rose 46 percent, while its local currency, the rupiah, gained more than 4.0 percent against the dollar.

Indonesia received huge inflows of foreign money during the year as traders looked to emerging economies in Asia, which is leading the global recovery, in place of slow-growth areas such as the United States or Europe.

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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.

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