Economy: Only a month left for Indonesia to make an economic turnaround after experiencing a 5.32 percent contraction in the second quarter due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. President Joko Widodo told such a reminder to all 34 governors on Tuesday last week. If the third quarter results in a contraction cycle, the economy will fall into recession. “We still have a chance in September — if we remain at the negative territory, it means we enter a recession,” he said. He urged governors to speed up spending and to order district heads and mayors in their respective region to do the same, noting that less than a half of their budgets have been spent.

The president revealed that according to the data as of 27 August, the national average of provincial government spending reached only 44 percent, while cities and district have used only 48.8 percent of their budget,” Jokowi said. Only three provinces have managed to attain positive growth during the second quarter of the year, including Papua (4.52 percent), West Papua (0.53 percent) and Central Sulawesi (0.06 percent). Meanwhile, three provinces have suffered the biggest contraction. Bali, whose economy depends largely on the tourism sector, was the hardest hit by the economic impact of the pandemic with a contraction of 10.98 percent.  Jakarta saw a negative 8.82 percent and Yogyakarta reported a contraction of 6.74 percent.

Finance: KB Kookmin Bank has closed a private placement deal for majority shares in Bank Bukopin, an Indonesian listed medium commercial bank, completing a takeover that put South Korea’s largest bank as the controlling shareholder in the historic local lender. “KB Kookmin Bank has become the sole controlling shareholder of the company which owns 67 percent of the total number of shares issued in the company, ” Bank Bukopin said in a statement.

Kookmin closed a deal worth Rp 3.1 trillion and acquired 16.4 billion shares at Rp 190 a piece, which equates to a 32 percent discount to Bukopin’s share price at the Indonesia Stock exchange on the day. The additional equities from Kookmin would help strengthen Bukopin’s financial performance. The lender net income reached its peak at Rp 1 trillion in 2016 then plunged by more than 88 percent in the subsequent year and has yet to reach the same height since then.

Energy: Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and a letter of intent (LoI) on green industry and marine plastic waste reduction with Australia’s Fortescue Future Industries and Minderoo Foundation. According to the minister, this signing strongly proves the close and strategic relations between the Indonesian and Australian governments, as well as the people in the two countries. The move also highlighted the synergy between the ministry and Fortescue Metals Group, especially on the development of renewable energy, which supported a value-added green industry. He believed the agenda would bolster the partnership to build a brighter future together.

According to the minister, with the huge potential of mineral and renewable energy, both countries could further collaborate in the sector. Thus, they could be one of the key players in the renewable energy field, including in the global green industry. “I think this collaboration is vital in this challenging time when COVID-19 causes quite serious problems in the health and global economic sectors,” the minister said. Additionally, the minister expressed optimism that the cooperation would enhance government policies in economic recovery and minimize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Business: Facebook launched for Indonesian users its e-commerce feature, Facebook Shops, which integrates business accounts across all platforms of the social media giant while offering data analytics for online shop owners. According to Facebook Indonesia country director,  the new feature was now available to Instagram business accounts and Facebook users in the country. Indonesia is one of five countries in the world with the highest number of Instagram business accounts, which meant that Facebook Shops would be an impactful feature for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“We have developed our platform to become a catalyst for MSME development. Through Facebook Shops, we can provide market access and connect businesses with communities,” said the director. The new digital storefront feature integrates a business’ Instagram account with its Facebook account to allow it to expand customer reach. The feature also comes with the Facebook Commerce Manager tool that allows shop owners to customize and manage their digital storefronts. Shop owners could also gather aggregate data on their customers through Facebook Shops, such as customer demographics including location and age, that could help businesses expand and develop.

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