Wed, 17 May 2000

Computer snag may delay JFX trading

JAKARTA (JP): A problem in the installation of a computer system might cause a delay in the operation of the country's first commodities futures operator, the Jakarta Futures Exchange (JFX).

JFX director Rico Menayang said here on Tuesday that if the problem could not be settled soon, inaugural trading could only be started in September, two months behind the initial schedule.

"It's a tight schedule but we're still optimistic that the delay will only be about two months," Rico told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on futures trading.

JFX, the country's first commodities futures exchange, has received government approval to trade olein, a derivative commodity of crude palm oil (CPO) and coffee.

Despite the present undeveloped olein industry, the JFX decided to trade olein, given the commodity's widespread use in the domestic market, Rico said.

"The olein market is far larger than that of CPO," he said.

JFX executive J.W. Sudomo added that domestic demand for CPO was too high to attract futures traders.

According to him, CPO offered little potential to gain spread revenue from speculative trading. "People here buy CPO not to sell it again, but to use it for their factories," Sudomo said.

Rico said that the JFX planned to include four additional commodities, that of rubber, plywood, pepper and cocoa to give more alternatives to investors.

"We are still waiting for the government's approval to trade in the additional commodities," he said, adding that he hoped the approval could be obtained next year.

He said that in the long-term, the JFX also planned to expand futures trading to foreign exchange as well as mining products, such as gold.

The JFX, he said, would cooperate with the Commodity and Monetary Exchange (Commex) of Malaysia in cross trading activities.

JFX was established in August 1999, with authorized capital of Rp 40 billion (US$4.7 million), and paid-up capital of Rp 11.6 billion.

Its founders comprise four oil palm plantations, seven palm oil refineries, eight securities companies and two general trading companies.

The JFX's listed brokers, among others, are PT Batavia Futures, PT Artha Berjangka, PT Dana Graha Futures and PT Gading International Berjangka.

Rico said that the JFX was preparing the brokers by sending them to study futures trading at the Commex.(bkm)