Mon, 08 Aug 1994

Market sentiment sends share prices up

By Sigma Batara

JAKARTA (JP): Positive market sentiment, which swept across the Asian stock markets last week, carried the Jakarta Stock Exchange (JSX) and pushed the Composite Index up by 21.71 points from the previous week to close at 472.8 last Friday.

This occurred despite pressure on U.S. interest rates as investors expected strong employment figures to be announced during the weekend.

However, announcements by 11 local banks of increased deposit rates on Wednesday was discounted by the market and had little impact on investor confidence.

Ironically, news of a general labor strike in Nigeria, expected to push oil prices up by a further US$2 or $3, brought a sigh of relief to the general business community in Indonesia.

Distribution company Enseval was listed on Monday. A surge in foreign buying interest in the stock on Friday pushed the price up briefly to a high of Rp 6,000 before closing at Rp 5,950, up from its offering price of Rp 5,500.

Foreign buyers were focused on other counters such as BDNI, JIHD, BII, Kalbe Farma, Astra International, Modern Photo, Indo Food, Barito Pacific, CP. Indonesia, UIC, HM Sampoerna, Tjiwi Kimia, United Tractors and Kabel Metal.

Average daily turnover on the regular board increased to 10.49 million shares worth Rp 41.87 billion ($19.31 million) from 5.88 million shares worth Rp 21.68 billion in the previous week.

Last week's total turnover increased to 112.68 million shares valued at Rp 458.91 billion from 81.76 million shares valued at Rp 347.81 billion in the previous week.

More unconfirmed rumors of an imminent government lifting of the 49 percent foreign ownership limit gave further impetus to local speculators to punt on Indah Kiat, Inco and Astra International, where foreign shares command a premium price.

Other counters pursued by local investors during the week were Astra International, Smart, BDNI, JIHD, Mayatexdian, Pan Brothers, Japfa, Bank Danamon, IKI Kabel, Surabaya Agung, BII, Gajah Surya and Ganda Wangsa.

The three bonus shares listed last week were Astra International (3-for-1), Ganda Wangsa Utama (3-for-10) and Unggul Indah Corp. (1-for-8 in the form of stock dividends).

Some of the best performers last week were Bank Internasional Indonesia (up Rp 1,250), Gudang Garam (up Rp 1,050), Lippo Bank (up Rp 1,000), Kalbe Farma (up Rp 950) and Indosepamas Anggun (up Rp 800).

The biggest losers were Indocement (down Rp 1,000), Bank PDFCI (down Rp 775), Unilever and Schering Plough and Inter Pacific Bank (all three down Rp 500).

Gainers outnumbered losers by 69 to 38, while 17 remained unchanged.