Wed, 29 Mar 2000

JSX plan to accommodate new Internet firms hailed

JAKARTA (JP): The plan of the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) to ease its listing requirements, in order to accommodate startup companies, received a warm welcome from Internet related firms.

Mochtar Riady, chairman and founder of local business giant, Lippo Group, said on Tuesday that the new, less rigid listing policy would help stimulate the development of new Internet business.

"It's a good decision. If local markets continued to bar Internet firms from listing here because they are only startup companies, I guess they'd go list on overseas markets," he said on the sidelines of a seminar on the prospects of Internet business in Indonesia.

He said some of the existing Internet companies had planned to raise funds through the local exchanges, but had to delay their plans due to the country's rigid listing requirements.

According to Mochtar, Lippo Group will launch some portals, including retail portal, brokerage and news portal, banking portals and on-line insurance marketing through Lippo-e-Life.

According to Benny Haryanto, director of Indonesian Central Securities Depository, so far there is only one local Internet related company, PT Tanjung Bangun Semesta, that has listed its shares here on the Surabaya Stock Exchange (SSX).

"Surabaya exchange is the only choice available for small companies," he said, adding that Internet companies would prefer to list their shares on the JSX, which is bigger and more popular within foreign investors.

JSX's president, Mas Achmad Daniri, said last week his office was currently seeking approval from the Capital Market Supervisory Agency (Bapepam) to change the listing requirements to allow startup companies to raise funds on the local market.

"If approved, new companies such as Internet and mining companies can list their shares on the market although they are new and have not booked any profit," he said, adding that the approval was expected to be issued sometime next month.

The existing stock market regulations allows only well established companies with adequate financial records to raise funds on the market.

Daniri said JSX also planned to introduce three different trading boards for different types of companies.

He said the first or the main board would be reserved for established companies, the second board for prospective startup companies, and the third for companies offering stocks with a nominal value below Rp 500 per share.

"Internet startup companies as well as mining startup firms can list their shares on the second board," he said.

Benny said many local Internet firms were waiting for Bapepam's decision to allow the listing of startup companies on the JSX.

"Some of the existing local Internet firms actually have very good potential," he said, citing the local portal as an example.

Several of the newly established e-companies, such as news portal, have announced plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO). is jointly owned by PT Agrakom and Hong Kong-based venture capital firm, and consumer-based portal, which is owned by international business information company, Castle Group, and India-based Internet application developer Edge NetVentures.

Several listed firms like Asuransi Lippo Life and electronics and office equipment suppliers Astra Graphia, Multipolar and Metrodata Electronics, have announced their plans to establish Internet companies. (cst)