Indonesia’s rupiah weakened to the lowest level since April 2009 on speculation local companies increased dollar purchases after the currency had its best week since November last year. Government bonds fell. The rupiah advanced 0.5 percent last week as the US Federal Reserve refrained from reducing the stimulus that has spurred demand for emerging-market assets. Indonesia’s trade shortfall surged to a record US$2.3 billion in July, weighing on the current account that remained in deficit for a seventh quarter through June. Last month’s trade data will be released on Tuesday.
Jet fighter deal axed
The government yesterday decided against awarding a US$7.7 billion jet fighter deal to Boeing Co for 60 F-15 Silent Eagles, saying it would re-tender its largest ever defense contract. The deal was aimed at replacing the air force’s ageing fleet of F-4s and F-5s and had initially attracted bids from Boeing, US rival Lockheed Martin and the European aerospace consortium EADS. Boeing, with its offer of 60 F-15 Silent Eagles, had ended up the sole eligible candidate after proposals from the other two came in over the stated budget, and the firm was expected to be named the winner yesterday. The government’s position that the bid price should not exceed the budget approved by parliament was a major source of concern throughout the tender process.
Chrysler prepares for IPO
Chrysler Group is reluctantly preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) of some of its shares. The automaker is proceeding with the IPO after it failed to reach an agreement on the value of the stock with the retiree trust that owns it. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker is now majority owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA. The shares that will be sold are owned by a United Auto Workers-run trust that pays the health care costs for about 130,000 blue-collar Chrysler retirees. The trust owns a 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler. It will get all of the proceeds from the IPO if it goes forward. The trust has set the value of the stake at US$4.27 billion, while Fiat says it’s worth US$1.75 billion.
Firms end patent battle
South Korean electronic giants Samsung and LG have agreed to end a year-long battle over display technology patents that spawned a series of lawsuits. LG Display and Samsung Display — the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 display panel manufacturers respectively — had locked horns over a number of patents for next-generation display technologies for TVs and other devices. The two firms had accused each other of stealing liquid-crystal display (LCD) and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology and key engineers.
Recession comes to end
The nation has emerged from recession in the third quarter, with estimated economic growth of 0.1 to 0.2 percent, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a newspaper interview yesterday. He also forecast growth of between 0.5 and 1.0 percent next year, stronger than the government’s previous estimate, in an interview published in the Wall Street Journal. The government’s previous forecasts had tipped a 1.3 percent contraction in overall economic output this year before a return to growth of 0.5 percent next year.