Still looking for business in debt-ridden Gulf states, reports Asia Sentinel
The meltdown of Dubai’s sovereign investment fund and other problems and fears of cancelled investment plans in Indonesia are giving way to new confidence as Indonesian firms push for business in the Gulf States.
Despite recent falls in Asian currencies on Middle East tensions between Iraq and Iran, but not reflecting problems in the Gulf, Indonesia is pushing ahead with launching US$315 million of government Islamic bonds in February.
When the Dubai debt crisis first hit, Harry Su, the head of research for Bahana Securities in Jakarta, wrote under the humorous headline “Till debt do us part” parodying the TV series “Till death do us part”, that knee-jerk reactions might hit local Islamic bonds and damage Indonesian Middle East investment hopes. Said Didu, Secretary to the State Minister for State Enterprises, followed that up by telling a Commission of the Indonesian Parliament, “State construction companies should stop or postpone their plans to expand their businesses in Middle East countries.”
Several state construction firms including PT Adhi Karya and PT Widjaya Karya had been working in the Middle East, the former on the 160-storey Al-Burj Tower. PT Adhi Karya was also aiming at a US$106 million project in Oman with Adhi Oman. Widjaya Karya also had targeted two power station projects in Saudi Arabia, each with capacity of 2 x 500 megawatts.