Southeast Asian Business Roundup
Indonesia is gearing up to embrace the next step in the world-wide digital evolution by launching fourth generation (4G) services, thereby gearing the country towards high internet speeds.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially launched 4G services in early December and announced they would be operated by five telecom businesses: PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsei), PT Indosat Tbk (ISAT), PT XL Axiata Tbk (EXCL), PT Hutchinson 3 Indonesia and PT Smartfren Telecom Tbk (FREN).
“Digital revolution is, effectively, economic revolution,” said President Joko in a press statement.
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology stated the programme is important in the formation of a digital ecosystem in Indonesia. He expected 4G services would accelerate the development of broadband across Indonesia, stating it would be rolled out as evenly as possible and empower local small businesses.
The government is also expecting the 4G ‘revolution’ will lead to a community of local application developers and boost the start-up ecosystem. The Communication Minister is hopeful that by 2019 Indonesia’s information technology and communication infrastructure can compete with Singapore. Indonesia currently ranks fourth in Asean, behind Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.
UMS Holdings, a manufacturing and engineering firm, has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaysian aerospace metallic components manufacturer ASF, which is based in Malacca, subscribing a 10 percent equity interest in the latter.
UMS intends to invest into ASF and develop ASF’s aerospace metallic parts manufacturing business, with an injection of RM0.13 million ($30,040) via a new shares subscription, for a 10 per cent equity interest in ASF. Another $7.5 million of secured convertible loans will be granted to ASF for working capital and expanding manufacturing capacities.
The new investment will help the group diversify its revenue contribution, given that there is significant growth in the aerospace sector. The Malaysian government is currently implementing an initiative targeted at further developing the aerospace manufacturing space.
The Vietnam-based unit of French integrated oil and gas group Total, Totalgaz Vietnam Limited, announced the acquisition of Malaysian company Petronas’ liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business in Vietnam.
The agreement was signed in December in Malaysia and covers Petronas’ two liquefied petroleum filling facilities in the northern city of Haiphong and the southern province of Dong Nai together with a large portfolio of customers and partners.
With this purchase, Total will become the second largest LPG player in Vietnam, after the local giant PetroVietnam.
Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) announced in December that it had become a shareholder in Dawei SEZ Development Company, a special purpose vehicle that operates the Dawei Special Economic Zone.
Around 70 Thai companies and eight Japanese companies will use the economic zone as a production base.