eK0n0mi taK seriU$ d/h ekonomitakserius@blogspot.com

November 29, 2009

tak lekang oleh waktu: the GIANT VISIBLE HAND @ dubai crisis

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 2:37 pm

http://transaksisaham.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/at-last-the-last-lender-comes-in-291109/

… akhirnya BANK SENTRAL UNI EMIRAT ARAB TURUN TANGAN MENGATASI KRISIS DUBAI …

November 28, 2009

tak lekang oleh waktu: dubai effect at last comes in…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 11:23 am

Dubai debt problems cast shadow over region

Debt problems in Dubai will make investors hesitate throughout Gulf, analysts say

By Barbara Surk, Associated Press Writer
On 1:32 am EST, Saturday November 28, 2009
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — For years, Dubai seemed unstoppable, an oasis of excess boasting indoor ski slopes and manmade islands, the world’s tallest tower and dreams that reached even higher.

Now the bills are coming due, and the emirate’s debt problems are tarnishing a place built on borrowed time and money — and threatening to spill into other Gulf Arab nations.

State-owned conglomerate Dubai World’s call for a delay in repaying some of the $60 billion it owes creditors will likely make international investors view even more fiscally conservative countries through a lens of uncertainty, analysts say.

The announcement is “impacting everybody in the region — the good and the bad,” said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Saudi-based Banque Saudi Fransi-Credit Agricole Group.

“Right now we’re still seeing the impact of this, and the impact will be that everybody is being negatively perceived,” Sfakianakis said.

In Dubai and in other Gulf nations, rulers keep tight control over information on their fiscal standing and dealmaking even as they draw in hundreds of billions of investment dollars.

For example, in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, few were aware of the $22 billion debt crunch confronting two of the kingdom’s largest privately held conglomerates earlier this year. The news filtered out as the companies fought each other in court, with one accusing the other of fraud.

While international investors were once willing to gamble on Gulf countries, largely because of their oil wealth, the global financial meltdown made them less willing to take risks. The Dubai crisis will only heighten those concerns, analysts say.

“Foreign investors will sharply divide the way they recognize investment opportunities in the Gulf based on which countries have oil and which don’t,” said Simon Henderson, a Gulf energy specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, Qatar or even Dubai’s neighboring emirate, Abu Dhabi, Dubai lacks oil wealth. The government-backed entities known as Dubai Inc. tapped credit markets to engineer the city-state’s spectacular growth.

Over the past decade, the tiny emirate, one of seven that make up the United Arab Emirates, transformed itself into a regional financial hub, a magnet for tourists and foreign workers.

It constructed high-rises with stellar Persian Gulf views and an indoor ski slope, and offered a freewheeling lifestyle frowned upon elsewhere in the UAE, as well as the region. A manmade island shaped like a palm frond beckoned. Dubai boldly built the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Dubai, set to open in January.

The global credit crisis derailed the dream. Property prices have plunged by 50 percent since last year. Projects were canceled, and expatriate workers left en masse. Today, buildings sit unfinished, apartments unsold or empty.

Dubai World’s announcement that it was seeking at least a six-month delay in paying back its debt sent shock waves around the world Friday. Oil prices dived to near $74 per barrel, and Asian markets tumbled for the second consecutive day. In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrials lost more than 150 points.

Dubai’s overall debt load is seen as at least $80 billion, underscoring how grave Dubai World’s announcement was for the emirate’s financial health.

Later comments by one of the emirate’s top financial officials that the call for a delay was a “sensible business decision” and “carefully planned” did little to mitigate the damage.

Henderson said it was “an extraordinarily arrogant decision,” made public on the eve of Thanksgiving in the U.S. and just before a three-day Islamic feast.

“It’s impossible they don’t realize this will be taken as a personal insult by the world’s financial community,” Henderson said, adding that it would not be surprising if creditors were unsympathetic.

Fears about the debt problems were compounded by lack of detail provided by Dubai authorities. The announcement also raised worries that reassurances provided by Dubai over the past few months were just an attempt to hide the magnitude of the problem.

“When people don’t know what the extent of the problem is, their concerns deepen,” said Jane Kinninmont, a London-based specialist on Gulf economies at the Economist Intelligence Unit. Kinninmont said that there is a “real shortage” of economic data to assess the recession’s impact on Dubai.

Two Abu Dhabi majority-owned banks had already bought up $15 billion in Dubai bonds as part of a $20 billion program earlier this year. Analysts are concerned that Abu Dhabi may not back all of Dubai’s assets, and that international lenders will take a second look at investing there and in other Gulf countries with a history of a lack of transparency.

Already, the effects have begun to surface. Standard & Poor’s downgraded its ratings of several Dubai government-related entities, linking its decision to the Dubai World announcement.

“In our view, such a restructuring may be considered a default under our default criteria, and represents the failure of the Dubai government to provide timely financial support to a core government-related entity,” said S&P analysts.

Elsewhere in the region, Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank said it was delaying a sale of $4 billion in five-year bonds that had already garnered 60 orders, pinning its decision on Dubai and the “best interest of investors participating in the deal.”

The latest news is at the very least a wake-up call to investors, analysts say.

“Dubai’s current problems are a long overdue consequence of the bursting of the global property bubble rather than the start of a new financial crisis,” analysts at Capital Economics concluded in a research note Friday.

Analysts said they were troubled by Dubai’s apparent determination to downplay its financial predicament.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, had continually dismissed concerns over the city-state’s liquidity and denied for months that the economic downturn even touched the glitzy city-state. Two months ago, he told Dubai’s critics to “shut up.”

AP Business Writer Tarek El-Tablawy contributed to this report from Cairo.

Dubai debt doubts spook markets
MICHAEL EVANS
November 28, 2009
PREPARATIONS were in full swing for a long weekend of celebrations for the religious festival of Eid al-Adha when Dubai’s rulers quietly slipped out the news.

The Muslim celebration, commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, lasts a week, with the faithful traditionally sacrificing their finest domestic animals as an offering.

As the city-state prepared to shut down for the weekend, Dubai revealed it had asked its banks for a six-month stay on its debt repayments.

US markets may have been closed for Thanksgiving celebrations, but investors worldwide were stunned, immediately fearing a return of the toxic debt crisis that would again send global markets reeling.

Dubai confirmed months of suspicions that its sovereign fund, Dubai World, owner of half of Australia’s ports operations, is creaking under as much as $US59 billion ($A65.7 billion) of debt.

The state’s total debt is estimated to be as high as $US80 billion.

The announcement comes just weeks before big property developer Nakheel, the company behind Dubai’s renowned palm-shaped islands and headed by Australian Chris O’Donnell, is due to pay about $US3.5 billion in bonds.

Global markets, enjoying a sustained six-month rally from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, slumped. European markets were among the hardest hit, falling more than 3 per cent amid fears its banks may be exposed to Dubai’s loans.

Australian shares followed the trend, with banks under pressure to declare their exposure.

Now questions are being asked whether the opulent reinvention of Dubai has been revealed to be a mirage.

SHEIKH Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his family had a clear goal – transform Dubai into a regional tourism and financial hub.

Not blessed with oil riches like its neighbour, Abu Dhabi, the emirate has been trying to reinvent itself given its own modest oil reserves are expected to run out within 20 years. The state funded its reinvention by borrowing about $US80 billion in a construction boom to transform the economy.

Dubai World built a $100 billion asset portfolio, including the Las Vegas casino company MGM Mirage and the London bank Standard Chartered.

Billions in foreign investment flowed, including from its oil-rich neighbours as the state supported infrastructure programs, while expatriates flocked in to the promise of tax-free salaries.

But the global credit crisis has taken the wind out of Dubai’s impressive hotel sails over the past 18 months.

Deutsche Bank estimates that Dubai suffered the world’s biggest fall in property prices as they slumped by half.

In recent months, Dubai has tapped markets to raise money amid reassurances there were no concerns over its ability to repay debt.

Dubai even raised $US10 billion from a bond issue that was taken up by Abu Dhabi via its central bank.

Now that relationship with its neighbour appears crucial to resolving its debt woes, amid questions over whether Abu Dhabi will make its neighbour sweat.

The situation has left investors and strategists attempting to determine the severity of the situation, amid fears Dubai faces a default of the likes of Argentina in 2001.

Deloitte has been appointed as an adviser to help with a restructure and has asked financiers to maintain a ”standstill” until at least the end of May.

Onlookers describe the uncertainty as a disaster, coming so soon after the financial crisis, saying it has potentially significant flow-on effects.

For starters, the cause of the potential default is not immediately clear – whether oil prices falling from record levels means Dubai is not receiving enough inflows to cover interest repayments or whether it is suffering from write-downs to plummeting asset values. Or both.

Contributing to fears on global markets has been the fact that neither the total amount nor the exact holders of a potentially toxic $US80 billion of debt were immediately apparent.

Lenders reportedly include Credit Suisse, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, while other significant investors in Dubai include Citi, BNP Paribas and Lloyds.

As Australian banks yesterday began detailing their own exposures, strategists immediately identified higher borrowing costs as another likely consequence.

In an environment of rising interest rates, banks will again be forced to examine their funding costs to protect margins.

Potential longer-term structural risks from Dubai’s debt problems have also sparked investor concern.

Strategists have identified Dubai as a significant creditor to the US as a buyer of US Treasury bonds.

But if it emerges that Dubai cannot pay its debts as they fall due, the question will arise over the sustainability of states such as Dubai funding US debt as a driver of the US economy.

Strategists fear a fall in demand for US Treasury bonds could increase the cost of borrowing for the US, shaking already fragile US consumer confidence and potentially flowing on to US economic growth, widely seen as the engine of the global economy.

And while global markets had reckoned with having seen off the worst of the credit crisis, there are renewed fears that the contagion that had been a feature of corporate balance sheets might now spread to sovereign funds.

AUSTRALIAN businesses operating in Dubai include Leighton Holdings and Sunland, which until recently featured James Packer as an investor and director. Sunland’s founder and executive director, Soheil Abedian, hit back at suggestions his group would be affected by the recent events in Dubai.

Speaking at the group’s annual meeting in Brisbane yesterday, he said Sunland Australia had no recourse from Dubai as it had no equity involved in the area, as its projects were all in joint ventures.

”I am really pissed off. I will repeat this in Persian, as no one is understanding my English,” he said. ”Sunland Australia has no recourse to what is happening in Dubai.

”We generate significant management fees, but we did not put in one cent into the Palazzo Versace – it is all equity-financed by our joint-venture partner.”

But in the year to June 30, Sunland wrote $209.3 million off its interest in three Dubai projects.

Sahba Abedian, Sunland’s managing director, was also emphatic in his speech, saying ”anyone that writes off Dubai is remiss. It is building the biggest airport in the world.”

As for Dubai World’s Australian ports assets, speculation is mounting that they will come up for sale with a potential price tag of more than $5 billion.

SHEIKH Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum promises to update markets again early next week, with critics saying the ruler has a lot of explaining to do.

Investors around the world will be hoping that the tiny emirate manages to fill the void and calm jittery nerves that are only just getting over the worst of the credit crisis.

With CAROLYN CUMMINS, BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK TIMES

Clouds loom for Dubai development
JAMIE FREED
November 27, 2009
The management team at Queensland-based property group Sunland, which is building the Versace Hotel in Dubai faces some sleepless nights while they await developments on the debt problems of the state-owned property group Dubai World.

There are worries that Dubai could now follow in the footsteps of Iceland and go broke, so Australian stocks with exposure to Dubai, like Sunland and Leighton Holdings, could be on shaky ground over the next few weeks.

Sunland is no doubt hoping that by the time the posh hotel opens its doors, there will still be well-heeled locals and tourists to Dubai that will want to stay and enjoy the ‘‘Versace’’ experience.

Got a market-moving tip? Email jfreed@smh.com.au

But Sunland’s directors say they are confident all will be well when the hotel is up and running.

Hotel property analysts say the trend now for the troubled hotel sector is to convert parts of the site into a residential wing, such as the Ritz Carlton apartments in Macquarie Street.

This gives the owner cash through the sales of the assets, as well as allowing the manager of the hotel to charge extra under the guise of body corporate fees.

In any case, just as concerns loom that Dubai World could default on its $US59 billion of debt, Sydney’s Orbis Investment has this week bought another 1 per cent of Sunland, taking its stake to 8.02 per cent.

Sunland shares rose 1 cent to 74 cents yesterday.

– Carolyn Cummins

Another crisis looms over the world
November 28, 2009
Tribulation in the Gulf state threatens to derail global recovery, writes Michael Evans.

Preparations were in full swing for a long weekend of celebrations for the religious festival of Eid al-Adha, when Dubai’s rulers quietly slipped out the news.

The Muslim celebration, commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, lasts a week, and the faithful traditionally sacrifice their finest domestic animals.

As the city-state prepared to shut down for the weekend, Dubai revealed it had asked its banks for a six-month stay on its debt repayments.

US markets may have been closed for Thanksgiving celebrations of their own but investors worldwide were left stunned, immediately fearing a return of the toxic debt crisis and once again sending global markets reeling.

Dubai confirmed months of suspicions that its sovereign fund, Dubai World, the owner of half of Australia’s ports operations, is creaking under as much as $US59 billion ($64 billion) in debt while the Gulf state’s total debt is estimated to be as high as $US80 billion.

The announcement comes just weeks before the property developer Nakheel, the company behind Dubai’s renowned palm-shaped islands and headed by an Australian, Chris O’Donnell, is due to pay about $US3.5 billion in bonds.

Global markets, experiencing a six-month rally from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, slumped. European markets were among the hardest hit, falling more than 3 per cent amid fears its banks might be exposed to Dubai’s loans.

Australian shares followed, as local banks came under pressure to declare their exposure.

The question being asked now is whether the opulent reinvention of Dubai has been revealed to be a mirage.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoumo and his family had a clear goal: transform Dubai into a regional tourism and financial hub. Not blessed with oil

riches like its neighbour Abu Dhabi, the emirate has been trying to reinvent itself. Its oil reserves are expected to run out within 20 years. The state funded its reinvention by borrowing about $US80 billion in a construction boom to transform the economy.

Its sovereign fund, Dubai World, built a $US100 billion asset portfolio including stakes in the Las Vegas casino company MGM Mirage and the London-based bank Standard Chartered. Billions in foreign investment flowed, including from its oil-rich neighbours, as the state supported infrastructure programs while expatriates flocked for tax-free salaries.

But the global credit crisis has taken the wind out of Dubai’s impressive hotel sails over the past 18 months. Deutsche Bank estimates that Dubai suffered the world’s biggest fall in property prices – they fell by half.

In recent months Dubai tapped markets to raise money amid reassurances about its ability to repay debts.

It even raised $US10 billion from a bond issue that was taken up by Abu Dhabi via its central bank. Now that relationship appears crucial to resolving its debt woes, amid questions over whether Abu Dhabi will make its neighbour sweat.

The situation has left investors and strategists attempting to determine the severity of the situation in a fog of uncertainty over a long weekend. It is feared Dubai faces a default of the likes faced by Argentina in 2001.

Deloitte has been appointed as an adviser to help with a restructure and has asked financiers to maintain a ”standstill” until at least the end of May. Onlookers describe the uncertainty as a disaster, coming so soon after the financial crisis.

For starters, the cause of the potential default is not immediately clear – whether oil prices receding from record levels mean Dubai is not receiving enough to cover interest repayments or whether it is suffering from write-downs to plummeting asset values. Or both.

Contributing to fears on global markets has been the fact that neither the total amount nor the exact holders of a potentially toxic $US80 billion of debt were immediately apparent.

Borrowers reportedly include Credit Suisse, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. Other significant investors in Dubai include Citi, BNP Paribas and Lloyds.

As Australian banks yesterday began detailing their own exposures, strategists immediately identified higher borrowing costs as another likely consequence. In an environment of rising interest rates, banks will again be forced to examine their funding costs.

Potential longer-term structural risks from Dubai’s debt problems have also sparked investor concern. Strategists have identified the emirate as a significant buyer of US Treasuries. But if it emerges that Dubai cannot pay its own debts, the sustainability of such states funding US debt as a driver of the US economy will be questioned.

Strategists fear a fall in demand for US Treasuries could increase America’s cost of borrowing, shaking already fragile US consumer confidence and potentially flowing on to US economic growth, widely seen as the engine of the global economy.

And, while global markets had reckoned with having seen off the worst of the credit crisis, there are now renewed fears that the contagion that had been a feature of corporate balance sheets might now spread to sovereign funds.

Australian businesses operating in Dubai include Leighton Holdings and Sunland, which until recently featured James Packer as an investor and director. Sunland’s founder and executive director, Soheil Abedian, hit back at suggestions his group would be affected by the recent events in Dubai.

At the group’s annual general meeting in Brisbane yesterday he said Sunland Australia had no recourse from Dubai as it had no equity involved there, because its projects are joint ventures.

”I am really pissed off,” he said. ”I will repeat this in Persian, as no one is understanding my English.

”Sunland Australia has no recourse to what is happening in Dubai. We generate significant management fees but we did not put in one cent into the Palazzo Versace; it is all equity-financed by our joint-venture partner.”

But in the year to June 30 Sunland wrote $209.3 million off its interest in three Dubai projects. Sahba Abedian, its managing director, was also emphatic, saying ”anyone that writes off Dubai is remiss”.

”It is building the biggest airport in the world,” he said.

Analysts played down fears about Leighton Holdings’s exposure to Dubai. In recent months Leighton’s boss, Wal King, has been distancing the company from Dubai, stressing the company earns more in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

Speculation is mounting Dubai World’s Australia port assets will come up for sale with a potential price of more than $5 billion.

Sheikh Mohammed promises to update markets again early next week; critics say the ruler has a lot of explaining to do.

Some reports from Dubai say developments are being perceived as typical of the way things work in Dubai – ”top down and in a vacuum”.

Investors around the world will be hoping the tiny emirate manages to fill the void and calm jittery nerves that are just getting over the worst of the credit crisis.

with Carolyn Cummins and Agencies

Will Dubai’s Financial Problems Spread?
By ANDREW LEE BUTTERS Friday, Nov. 27, 2009

Kamran Jebreili / AP
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The rulers of the United Arab Emirates city-state of Dubai have for months breezily dismissed concerns about Dubai World, the government’s main holding company for investments and real estate developments. “We are not worried,” said Dubai’s Emir, Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum, at a press conference two months ago, despite the fact that Dubai has debts that are at least 100% of GDP — and may be closer to 125%. When critics later complained that Dubai had no realistic plans for paying off its debts, al-Maktoum told them to “shut up.” But on Thursday, as Dubai’s government announced it was seeking a halt to its debt repayments ahead of a $4 billion bill due on Dec 14, spin was at a minimum. So many worried investors tried to join a conference call for bond holders of Nakheel, a property company owned by Dubai World, the lines collapsed.

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The Dubai debacle triggered immediate concern about a new wave of financial problems rippling through global markets. Stock-market indexes plummeted, the cost of insuring against a default by Dubai jumped and the dollar strengthened as investors rushed back into greenbacks. On Friday afternoon, stock markets made something of a recovery as analysts took a second look at what Dubai’s proposed repayment halt means. Eighty billion dollars — Dubai’s total liabilities — may sound like a lot of money but in the context of the past year, it’s not huge. And while banks like HSBC and Barclays have billions in exposure to Dubai, they are also better capitalized than they were a year ago, and thus more able to withstand hits of this size.
(See the top 10 bankruptcies.)

Dubai’s problems stem from its huge — and hubristic — ambition. The Gulf emirate, which unlike the other emirates that join to form the U.A.E., has little oil or gas, and so has concentrated on building itself up as a vibrant business and transport hub and the home to some of the world’s biggest, flashiest and most modern real estate. To lure in the masses, Dubai promoted itself as an income tax free resort for the world’s rich and upper middle class. Dubai’s master planners developed a signature over-the-top style geared to the tastes of newly minted wealth — an indoor ski slope, a luxury condominium development with man-made islands arranged in the shape of a huge palm tree, and the tallest building anywhere.

But when world markets collapsed last year, so did Dubai’s real estate market, leaving developers like Nakheel struggling to finish projects and pay suppliers. Speculators fled, and thousands of expatriates and locals who had bought into the dream were left owning unfinished condos or houses they could not sell. Residential real estate prices have fallen by almost half in the past year, the deepest decline anywhere in the world.
(Read: “How Wall Street’s Bust Threatens Dubai’s Boom.”)

In February, oil-rich Abu Dhabi, home to the U.A.E.’s rulers, stepped in with $10 billion to prop up its ailing neighbor. Abu Dhabi could step in again, though next time it will probably demand a greater say in the way Dubai Inc. operates.
(Read: “Abu Dhabi: An Oil Giant Dreams Green.”)

Since the global financial crisis hit, the more sober Gulf economies have fared relatively well. Not only is the Middle East less integrated into global financial market than other regions, but oil prices have risen again since their initial decline last year. Unlike Dubai, the oil economies of the Middle East have been more sober during the boom years, putting their money in massive infrastructure projects, building cultural institutions, and keeping big piles of cash on hand for a rainy day. Dubai may want to do the same.

British banks quizzed by regulators on exposure to Dubai crisis
Large losses feared at HSBC and RBS as City watchdog seeks urgent assurances
Buzz up!
Digg it
Jill Treanor, Phillip Inman and Julia Finch
guardian.co.uk, Friday 27 November 2009 20.03 GMT
Article history

Financial markets were shrouded in uncertainty yesterday over the crisis in Dubai, above. Photograph: Steve Crisp/Reuters

City regulators are urgently seeking assurances that Britain’s major banks are protected from the deepening debt crisis in Dubai amid fears that a possible default by the region’s major property developer will cause another major jolt to the already fragile financial system.

The Financial Services Authority is understood to have demanded that the firms it regulates are open about their exposure to the troubled Dubai entities and along with the tripartite authorities – which also include the Bank of England and the Treasury – the FSA is continuing to monitor the situation closely.

It is believed the banks argue that their exposure is exaggerated and the authorities have reached an initial assessment that the situation is manageable.

But analysts said UK banks had greater exposure than their rivals owing to Britain’s traditional links to the Middle East, with London-based institutions such as HSBC and Standard Chartered heavily focused on lending to emerging markets during the Dubai property boom.

Bank analysts at JP Morgan said lenders’ main exposure is through $14bn of syndicated loans to Dubai World. It pinpointed the state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland as having the biggest potential problem, as it helped arrange $2.3bn of those loans. However, it is unclear how much of that $2.3bn RBS passed on to other lenders and it could have exposure to just 10% of the total sum, $230m. After recoveries any eventual loss would probably be far less.

Stock markets recovered some of their earlier losses, with the London Stock Exchange FTSE 100 finishing up 1%, erasing some of Thursday’s 170-point loss. But US stock markets tumbled along with oil and gold. Gordon Brown said the world financial system was stronger than last year and better able to deal with any shocks from unpaid loans. “While it is a setback, I think we will find it is not on the scale of previous problems we have dealt with,” the prime minister said.

Reassurances from banks and western governments caught by surprise at the scale of problems hitting Dubai World and developer Nakheel came as a planeload of bankers, accountants and lawyers departed for the troubled city state, one of seven in the United Arab Emirates, to negotiate a settlement over its £37bn of outstanding debts.

Fears linger that Britain’s beleagured banks, which are the biggest lenders to the Emirates, are over-exposed and face a further knock to their finances.

Credit ratings agencies said they would monitor Dubai closely in case the situation deteriorated. Royal Bank of Scotland, which has $2.4bn of loans exposed, agreed yesterday to a watered-down deal with the EU that allowed the bank to repay its borrowings to the taxpayer over a longer period.

RBS has already lost tens of billions of pounds over the last two years and further losses from overseas loans will be a blow to the Treasury and the taxpayer, which owns 84% of the bank.

HSBC was the largest lender with $17bn of outstanding borrowings. It has spent many years building up links with oil-rich nations in the region and financing their rapid expansion.

But its chief executive, Michael Geoghegan, was bullish about the region’s ability to bounce back. He said he was “completely committed” to the Middle East. “I am confident that the leadership of Dubai and the UAE will overcome any short-term issues they face, which appear to have been somewhat sensationalised, and continue to lay the foundations for sustainable growth,” he said.

Before Wednesday’s announcement by Dubai caused a new shock wave through the markets, the major banks regulated by the FSA had already been instructed to bolster their capital cushions to enable them to withstand further tailwinds in the financial system. They now have much stronger capital bases than they did two years ago as the credit crunch began.

Bankers noted that fears about the financial health of Dubai had been swirling for many months and that many institutions already had the city state on their watchlists. The City is speculating that Standard Chartered and HSBC could be the banks facing the biggest losses after developing close ties to the Middle East.Goldman Sachs said an initial estimate put HSBC’s potential losses at $600m, but only if a deal with Dubai’s partners in Abu Dhabi failed to materialise and Dubai was left to fend for itself in negotiations with its creditors.

Fallout from the Dubai debt crisis continued to roll through financial markets for the second day, although the rush for the exits slowed. The Dow Jones opened down 2%, but had pared back losses to 1.4% by the time the London market closed. The US markets had been closed for Thanksgiving the day after the announcement from Dubai and were open for just half a day yesterday ahead of the holiday weekend.

Oil fell more than 3% to $75.48, while the dollar rose against most major currencies as it regained some of its tarnished safe haven status. Traders warned that further advances in the dollar would push down the price of oil. Mike Fitzpatrick, of MF Global in New York, said: “This is a similar reaction to last year’s Lehman Brothers debacle, it shakes confidence in financial markets and raises the spectre of contagion which could trigger a second wave in the credit crisis.”

Dubai’s request for a repayment standstill on its multibillion dollar debts has sparked fears of debt defaults in other parts of the global economy which could derail the nascent recovery.

Some analysts expressed fears that the city state’s total debts could be far more than so far assumed. Saud Masud, a real estate analyst with UBS, said Dubai’s debt could include huge off-balance sheet liabilities that could “imply a total debt burden well above the $80bn to $90bn markets have estimated so far”.

tak lekang oleh waktu: emas is A must (44)

Filed under: EMAS or GOLD...ce'ileh... — bumi2009fans @ 11:08 am

Sabtu, 28/11/2009 16:15 WIB
Harga Emas Mulai Turun
Ramdhania El Hida – detikFinance

Jakarta – Harga emas perhiasan menurun pasca hari Raya Idul Adha. Hari ini, harga emas Rp 351 ribu. Sedangkan tepat sehari sebelum Idul Adha harga emas melonjak hingga Rp 355 ribu dari sekitar Rp 330 ribu.

Harga emas yang bisa dikatakan tinggi ini telah bergerak di atas Rp 330 ribu sejak awal November dan berdampak pada banyaknya masyarakat yang menjual emasnya.

Seperti terlihat di Pasar Mayestik, Jakarta Selatan. Menurut Rendi, salah seorang penjual emas di pasar ini, kenaikan transaksi meningkat sekitar 50% pada awal bulan November dan didominasi dengan pembelian emas. Per hari transaksi bisa mencapai 10 potong.

“Mungkin karena harga lagi naik kali ya, jadi banyak yang jual emas,” ujar Rendi saat ditemui di tokonya, Pasa Mayestik, Jakarta, Sabtu (28/11/2009).

Rendi mengakui harga emas beberapa pekan terakhir ini meningkat hingga Idul Adha. Namun, tambah Rendi, entah mengapa harga emas pada hari ini menurun.

Hal serupa juga disampaikan Andri yang berjualan di Pasar Mayestik ini. Penurunan harga emas mencapai Rp 4.000 dalam 1 hari ini.

“Harga sekarang Rp 351 ribu kemarin Rp 355 ribu, turun Rp 4 ribu,” keluh Andri.

Pada hari ini harga per troy ounce emas sebesar 1.187. Harga jual emas kuning 24 karat Rp 351 ribu dan putih Rp 275 ribu. Sedangkan harga belinya untuk emas kuning Rp 320 ribu dan emas putih Rp 240 ribu.

Rendi menjelaskan kebanyakan para konsumen membeli cincin emas putih. Hal ini disebabkan warnanya yang tidak terlalu mencolok dan modelnya bagus.

“Orang-orang banyak yang mencari cincin putih, biasanya untuk cincin kawin, sedangkan yang kuning biasanya untuk investasi,” jelas Rendi.

(nia/dnl)

November 26, 2009

tak lekang oleh waktu: ayo mo ngabur ke mana …

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 5:09 am

Kamis, 26 November 2009 | 08:29

SENGKETA DERIVATIF

Lagi, HSBC Kalah di Sengketa Derivatif

JAKARTA. Kisah kekalahan bank asing dalam sengketa produk derivatif di pengadilan kian panjang. Setelah Citibank N.A dan Standard Chartered Bank, untuk ketiga kalinya, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) menelan kekalahan dalam sengketa produk derivatif.

Kemarin (25/11), Pengadilan Negeri Jakarta Selatan menolak gugatan HSBC yang meminta pembayaran sisa kontrak derivatif senilai
US$ 5,2 juta kepada PT Tobu Indonesia Steel. Menurut Pengacara Tobu Randy Kailimang, hakim menilai, HSBC tak mampu membuktikan tagihan itu. Selain itu, hakim menilai, bank asal Inggris ini melanggar UU Perlindungan Konsumen dan Peraturan Bank Indonesia (BI). “Pertimbangan hakim sesuai dengan dasar yang kami ajukan,” kata Randy, Rabu (25/11).

Sebaliknya, kuasa hukum HSBC Mustika Kuwera menyesalkan putusan hakim. Ia menilai, keputusan ini mengisyaratkan tidak ada kepastian hukum di Indonesia. “Semua perjanjian sudah ditandatangani secara sah. Kami akan banding,” tegasnya.

Kekalahan HSBC dalam sengketa derivatif ini bukanlah yang pertama kali. Juli lalu, HSBC kalah melawan Toba Surimi dan September lalu kandas melawan PT Fresh On Time Seafood. HSBC juga gagal memailitkan Ciptagria, debitur produk derivatifnya.

Di mata praktisi hukum perbankan Frans Hendra Winarta, tumbangnya sejumlah bank dalam sengketa produk derivatif menjadi bukti pemahaman produk derivatif di Indonesia dengan aturan internasional belum sesuai. “Pikiran hakim juga belum sejalan dengan hukum internasional mengenai derivatif,” kata dia.

Buktinya, hakim terlalu menyederhanakan masalah derivatif. Padahal, kasus ini perlu pemahaman teknis yang memadai. Contohnya, hakim selalu meminta bukti hard copy. Padahal, berbagai transaksi lebih banyak tanpa kertas (paperless). Frans bilang, jika ini berlarut, bukan mustahil tidak ada bank yang berani menerbitkan produk derivatif. “Pemerintah dan BI harus mengadopsi aturan internasional,” katanya.

Saat ini, Bank Danamon dan PT Eka Kertas Nusantara juga sedang berperkara serupa.

Epung Saepudin, Ewo Raswa KONTAN

November 25, 2009

tak lekang oleh waktu: mending vit D daripada vit C

Filed under: Medicine — bumi2009fans @ 3:45 pm

Vitamin C Tidak Efektif Tangkal Flu
Rabu, 25 2009 17:00 WIB
prevention.com
SUPLEMEN berupa makanan dan minuman sering kali diposisikan sebagai tameng untuk mengusir penyakit. Cara mengusir penyakit salah satunya bisa dengan meningkatkan kekebalan tubuh termasuk menangkal serangan flu, khususnya di musim hujan seperti ini. Untuk membantu Anda menetukan pilihan yang tepat, berikut beberapa jenis suplemen yang benar-benar membantu dan beberapa yang hanya berisi promosi berlebihan semata.

Suplemen efektif

Seng

Hasil studi mengenai mineral satu ini masih saling bertentangan. Akan tetapi, menurut Direktur Yale University Prevention Research Center David L. Katz, MD, MPH, mengonsumsi 30 mg seng pada awal flu bisa mempersingkat durasi flu hingga setengahnya. Mineral ini bekerja dengan cara memperlambat kembang biak virus di hidung dan tenggorokan.

Tapi, hindari menggunakan dalam jumlah berlebih. Kekurangan seng sedikit saja (yang diperlukan untuk memproduksi sel darah putih) bisa meningkatkan risiko infeksi. Di sisi lain, menggunakan seng lebih dari 50 mg sehari juga bisa menekan sistem imun dan menghambat penyerapan mineral esensial lainnya.

Pil omega-3

Jika tidak suka mengonsumsi banyak ikan, tambahlah asupan suplemen omega-3 harian untuk mendapatkan efek penguat sistem imun dari asam lemak. Menurut temuan studi dari Britain’s Institute of Human Nutrition and School of Medicine, omega-3 meningkatkan aktivitas phagocytes, sel-sel yang melawan flu dengan cara memakan bakteri. Penelitian lain menunjukkan bahwa omega-3 meningkatkan aliran udara dan melindungi paru-paru dari flu dan gangguan pernafasan.

Pilihlah kapsul minyak ikan yang telah dimurnikan dan paling tidak mengandung 1 gram kombinasi EPA dan DHA.

Astragalus

Akar obat dari China ini bekerja menstimulasi sel darah putih untuk melawan infeksi. Sebuah studi yang dipublikasikan pada 2007 menemukan, astragalus efektif meningkatkan sistem kekebalan tubuh pada kucing. Dan sebuah studi yang dilakukan pada pilot menunjukkan bahwa efek yang sama juga terjadi pada manusia. Akan tetapi, manfaat astragalus tidak bisa dirasakan dalam waktu instan, Anda bisa mendapatkan manfaat maksimal setelah 6-8 minggu.

Vitamin D

Sebuah studi dari Harvard menunjukkan, nutrisi satu ini bisa meningkatkan kekebalan tubuh dan membantu mencegah flu. Orang-orang dengan kadar vitamin D terendah berisiko 36% lebih besar mengalami infeksi saluran pernafasan atas dibandingkan mereka yang memiliki kadar vitamin D tertinggi. Pasien asma dengan kadar vitamin D rendah berisiko hampir 6 kali lebih besar sakit dibandingkan mereka yang mempunyai kadar vitamin D terbanyak. Vitamin D cukup dinyatakan bisa membantu menghasilkan cathelicidin, sejenis protein yang berfungsi membunuh virus.

Menurut penulis studi Carlos A. Camargo Jr., MD., selain mendapatkan vitamin D dari matahari dan diet seperti ikan dan produk susu yang diperkaya dengan berbagai vitamin, Anda bisa memaksimalkan kadar vitamin D dengan menggunakan suplemen. Camargo menganjurkan Anda menggunakan paling tidak 1.000 internasional unit (IU) vitamin D sehari.

Tidak efektif

Echinacea

Jika dikonsumsi pada awal menderita flu, herbal ini mungkin bisa mempersingkat durasi dan keparahan gejala. Tapi, beberapa brand ditemukan tidak mengandung jumlah yang tertulis di label dan beberapa formula bahkan tidak mengandung echinacea sama sekali. Herbal satu ini juga berisiko memicu diare, bintik merah di kulit, dan gangguan bernafas

Vitamin C

Mengonsumsi banyak makanan kaya vitamin C (seperti cabe merah dan buah sitrus) tidak menimbulkan efek negatif. Tapi, menggunakan vitamin ekstra sebagai langkah perlindungan tidak akan membantu. Hasil review terhadap 30 studi tidak menemukan adanya bukti bahwa suplemen vitamin C mencegah flu. Selain itu, suplemen vitamin C dosis tinggi bisa menyebabkan batu ginjal, gangguan lambung bahkan memicu perdarahan pada anak-anak. (OL-08)

tak lekang oleh waktu: resesi MASEH WAJIB diamati …(4)

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 12:50 am

Nov. 24, 2009, 12:10 a.m. EST
Holiday fear
Commentary: Economy appears to be losing steam

By Irwin Kellner, MarketWatch
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (MarketWatch) — It’s beginning to look a lot like a “W.”
After logging the fastest rate of growth in two years last quarter, the economy appears to be losing steam during the current period.

This is no big surprise; the consensus of forecasters surveyed weekly by MarketWatch has long been expecting slower growth during the fourth quarter.

Their latest projections call for a growth rate of 2.5% — a percentage point slower than the government’s preliminary take on the previous quarter. (See Economic Calendar.)

There’s plenty of evidence that our panel may be right — if not a tad optimistic. For one thing, total consumer spending — the biggest single chunk of the economy — fell in September for the first time in four months and by the biggest percentage since December 2008.

In October, retail sales excluding autos grew 60% slower than they did during the previous month, while preliminary reports for November show that consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell.

If you look closely you can see why consumers are pulling in their horns.

For one thing, personal incomes are barely growing as businesses have trimmed hours worked and cut wages and salaries. For another, employment continues to fall as the jobless rate edges ever closer to the postwar record of 10.8% set in November 1982.

The duration of unemployment as a percent of the labor force is the highest in at least a quarter of a century. More people are being forced to work part-time and/or beneath their skill level while the job openings rate is the lowest in recent memory.

This will continue as long as business can rely on increased productivity and outsourcing to take care of its needs.

llner’s Forecasts
DATE REPORT FORECAST PREVIOUS
Nov. 23 Existing-home sales 5.55 million 5.57 million
Nov. 24 GDP revision 3.2% 3.5%
Nov. 24 Consumer confidence 45.0 47.7
Nov. 25 Jobless claims 510,000 505,000
Nov. 25 Durable goods orders 0.5% 1.4%
Nov. 25 Durables ex-transportation 0.4% 1.2%
Nov. 25 Personal income 0.0% 0.0%
Nov. 25 Consumer spending 0.3% -0.5%
Nov. 25 New home sales 395,000 402,000
Nov. 25 Consumer sentiment 63.0 66.0

Consumer spending is also being suppressed by the $13 trillion in wealth people have lost because of the decline in prices of homes and stocks, along with their high debt loads and depleted savings accounts.

Industrial production barely budged in October compared with a 0.7% gain in September. New-home construction took a header in October, while prices of new and existing homes continue to tumble.

Home prices have a lot further to fall because supplies figure to keep rising. A record 14% of homeowners with a mortgage were either behind on payments or in foreclosure at the start of last month. This is the ninth straight quarter that this figure set a record.

Services are not immune, either. The ISM’s measure of the economy’s service sector fell unexpectedly in October after rising for a number of months.

In addition, many firms are worried over the rising cost of health care and energy not to mention talk of higher taxes. Washington is not focusing on creating jobs the way it should. ( See Nov. 10 column.) And states and local governments are raising taxes and cutting spending as they struggle to balance their budgets.

If all this were not enough there’s the Catch-22 facing policymakers when it comes to economic policy.

Washington’s budget deficit has exploded while the Federal Reserve has injected gobs of liquidity into the markets.

If these policies are reversed too quickly, they run the risk of pushing the economy back into recession. If they are not reversed quickly enough, interest rates will soar — pushing the economy back into recession.

Holiday fear? You betcha.

tak lekang oleh waktu:optimisme NEGARA MAJU

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 12:23 am

RBA upbeat on major Asian trading partners
James Glynn From: Dow Jones Newswires November 25, 2009 9:51AM
Source: Bloomberg
RESERVE Bank of Australia deputy governor Ric Battellino has painted an upbeat outlook for the economy, saying expansion will be fuelled by solid growth in Asian economies.

Mr Battellino, a member of the RBA’s policy-making board, also reasserted the central bank’s view that a key domestic challenge is to ensure housing sector supply responds adequately to increasing demand for accommodation.

His comments highlight the RBA’s optimistic outlook, which continues to generate expectations of further interest rate rises in the months ahead.

“While the world economy as a whole is forecast to remain relatively sluggish next year, economic growth for the group of countries that comprise our major trading partners is expected to recover to a relatively normal pace,” he said.

Australia has completed 18 years of uninterrupted expansion and it is reasonable to assume the trend will continue, he said.

“With the economy having only recently entered a new upswing, it is reasonable to assume that we will see this growth extended for a few more years yet,” he said.

Mining investment in Australia, which is already at record levels as a share of the economy, could rise substantially further in the next five years or so, Mr Battellino said.

“If this scenario eventuates, it will have powerful and broad-ranging implications for the economy,” he said.

On housing, Mr Battellino said there is a broad consensus that not enough dwellings are being built.

While investment in the sector is high, spending has gone to second homes and improvement of existing dwellings. This has constrained housing supply overall, he said.

Mr Battellino also said efforts by government to assist first home buyers with grants are useful, but over time, they feed into higher prices.

“The benefits diminish over time to the extent that these concessions become capitalised into higher house prices,” he said.

Turning to banks, he said that those in major northern hemisphere economies are still dealing with the early stages of balance sheet repair, but in Asia, a region more critical to Australia, banks are solid, he said.

“This is positive for Australia as Asian countries are our major trading partners,” Mr Battellino said.

tak lekang oleh waktu: resesi MASEH WAJIB diamati …(3)

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 12:17 am

nyt
November 25, 2009
Fed Cautious About Strength of Recovery

By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
WASHINGTON — Fed policy makers have become slightly more optimistic about the pace of the economic recovery, but they continue to predict that unemployment will remain well above 9 percent through the end of 2010, according to forecasts released on Tuesday.

The new forecasts, released along with minutes from the central bank’s policy meeting earlier this month, showed that officials remained cautious about the strength of the economic recovery but have begun a more intensive debate about when to start raising short-term interest rates.

According to the minutes, some policy makers worried that holding short-term interest rates at almost zero could encourage “excessive risk-taking” and expectations of higher inflation.

“Members noted the possibility that some negative side effects might result from the maintenance of very low short-term interest rates,” the central bank reported in its summary of the meeting. Though policy makers decided the risks were “relatively low,” the Fed said, they agreed to “remain alert.”

The minutes provided new light on the debate between the Fed’s more hawkish policy makers, who have argued that inflation pressures may be more imminent than they appear, and an apparent majority of the policy-setting committee that is still worried primarily about high unemployment and the fragility of the recovery.

The new forecasts, produced by each Fed governor in Washington and the presidents of regional Fed banks around the country, were slightly more optimistic about the pace of growth.

The “central tendency” of the Fed forecasts anticipated that the economy would expand 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent next year. That was slightly faster than officials had predicted in June, and it reflected a pick-up in growth this summer that was somewhat faster than Fed officials had expected.

But over all, Fed officials barely budged from their previously somber prognosis of plodding growth, high unemployment and low inflation for the next two years.

“Most members projected that over the next couple of years, the unemployment rate would remain quite elevated and the level of inflation would remain below rates consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve’s objectives,” the central bank reported.

For practical purposes, Fed officials have generally wanted to keep the “core” rate of inflation, which excludes volatile prices for food and energy, around 2 percent or slightly below.

But the core rate of inflation has drifted below 1.5 percent over the last year, and most Fed policy makers predicted that it would remain below 2 percent through 2012 and for the longer run as well. To many Fed officials, that means that there is still ample time to keep interest rates low without stoking inflation pressures.
November 25, 2009
As Bank Failures Rise, F.D.I.C. Fund Falls Into Red

By ERIC DASH
The government-administered insurance fund that protects depositors fell into the red for the first time since the fallout from the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s as the pace of bank failures accelerated.

The fund had a negative balance of $8.2 billion at the end of the third quarter, federal regulators said Tuesday. Bank customers, however, should remain confident that their deposits would be protected since most of the amount reflects money Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation has already set aside to cover the losses from future bank failures.

Officials of the F.D.I.C. said in October that the deposit insurance fund had been depleted, but Tuesday’s third-quarter report card on the banking industry marked the first time that hard numbers had been released. Even amid early signs that the economy is recovering, the report suggested that the country’s 8,100 lenders remain in fragile condition.

In its state of the industry report, the F.D.I.C. reported that banks posted a $2.8 billion gain in the third quarter, after a $4.3 billion loss in the previous period. Meanwhile, the number of “problem banks” that run the biggest risk of collapse increased to 552, from 416 in the second quarter. Bad loans of nearly every stripe — credit cards, mortgages, small business and commercial real estate — continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace.

“The credit adversity we have been discussing for some time remains with us, and we expect it will be a couple of more quarters before we see a meaningful improvement in that trend,” Sheila C. Bair, the F.D.I.C. chairwoman, said. “I am optimistic that if we address these problems head on, we will see clear signs of improvement in bank earnings and lending in 2010.

Even so, the number of bank failures will probably keep climbing. So far, the F.D.I.C. has seized and sold 124 banks in 2009, and analysts expect hundreds more to collapse in the months ahead. That has put significant pressure on the F.D.I.C. fund, which posted a negative balance for the first time since 1992 when regulators cleaned up the carnage from hundreds of failed thrifts and other commercial lenders.

Federal officials have also taken action to replenish the fund. The agency recently approved plans calling for industry to lend money to the insurance fund by ordering banks to prepay annual assessments that would otherwise have been due through 2012.

That move is expected to add about $45 billion to the fund, which stood at $34.6 billion a year ago, but should avoid straining bank earnings because of favorable accounting treatment. It also averts the political risk of tapping an emergency credit line from the Treasury Department, although some banking experts say they believe such action may still be necessary. The industry report card also showed how the banks’ troubles have spread. Two years ago, the problems seemed to be contained to a handful of big banks, which took large markdowns on the value of complex mortgage assets and other securities.

But as the big banks have regained their swagger from big trading profits over the last three quarters, the problems afflicting the bulk of the industry’s lenders — soured loans made to consumers and property developers — have grown considerably worse. Over all, banks charged off $50.8 billion in the third quarter, or 2.71 percent of assets. And lending dropped by the largest percentage since the government began collecting data in 1984.

More banks have also collapsed because of the bad debts. Federal regulators seized 50 banks in the third quarter, including regional players like Colonial Bank of Alabama, Guaranty Financial of Texas and Corus Bankshares of Chicago. That was approximately the twice the total number of banks that failed in 2008.

The high cost of the failures has strained the deposit insurance fund, which thousand of banks support by paying quarterly premiums. As of the end of the third quarter, its balance stood at negative $8.2 billion. The bulk of the fund’s losses stem from money that regulators set aside to cover future failures, allowing it to operate in the red.

F.D.I.C. officials expect that bank failures will cost the insurance fund $100 billion over the next five years. More than half of that cost has already been accounted for, while the new prepayment plan is expected to cover the rest. If losses grew considerably worse, officials might have to impose additional special assessments on banks or draw on the Treasury’s backup credit lines.

In late August, Ms. Bair said she did not anticipate having to immediately tap that line of credit, although she did not rule it out. “I never say never,” Ms. Bair said at the time.

tak lekang oleh waktu: plastik ini beneran GO GREEN…

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 12:01 am

Plastik Ramah Lingkungan Segera Hadir
Rabu, 25 November 2009 – 06:22 wib

Rachmatunnisa – Okezone

WASHINGTON – Ilmuwan berhasil melakukan proses rekayasa bahan polimer untuk pembuatan plastik. Terobosan ini membuka jalan untuk memproduksi plastik ramah lingkungan secara komersil.

Tim yang berasal dari KAIST University dan LG Chem di Korea Selatan fokus meneliti polylactic acid (PLA), bahan polimer berbahan dasar bio sebagai kunci memproduksi plastik dari bahan yang dapat diperbaharui.

“Bahan polyester dan polimer yang kita gunakan setiap hari sebagian besar berasal dari minyak fosil yang dibuat melalui proses kimia dan penyulingan,” kata pemimpin studi Sang Yup Lee, seperti dikutip dari Times of India, Rabu (25/11/2009).

Lee menambahkan, ide memproduksi polimer dari bahan biomas yang bisa diperbaharui telah menarik perhatian publik akhir-akhir ini. Hal itu dikarenakan meningkatnya kepedulian akan masalah lingkungan dan terbatasnya sumber fosil alami.

Itu sebabnya, PLA dipandang sebagai alternatif yang sangat baik untuk menggantikan plastik berbahan dasar minyak bumi. PLA bersifat biodegradable, aman dan tidak beracun bagi manusia.

Hingga saat ini, PLA diproduksi melalui dua langkah fermentasi dan polimerisasi yang kompleks dan mahal. Dengan terobosan baru, ilmuwan bisa melakukan rekayasa E coli secara metabolis untuk menghasilkan polylactic acid co-polymers melalui fermentasi langsung.

Lee menyebutkan, cara ini membuat produksi PLA dan lactate-containing copolymer lebih murah dan potensial untuk dikomersialkan. (rah)

November 24, 2009

tak lekang oleh waktu: begitu lah KEBUDAYAAN INDONESIA

Filed under: GLOBAL ECONOMY — bumi2009fans @ 3:33 pm

ANALISIS EKONOMI
Krisis Listrik karena Pemerintah Salah Urus

SET
Artikel Terkait:
Kenaikan Tarif Listrik Tidak Populer
Listrik Padam, Perajin Logam Kelimpungan
Perusahaan Minta PLN Peduli
Desember, Pasokan Listrik Bakal Bertambah 915 MW
Pemerintah Klaim Berhasil Tekan Pemadaman Listrik Jakarta
SENIN, 16 NOVEMBER 2009 | 06:08 WIB

FAISAL BASRI

KOMPAS.com – Secara nasional, keterjangkauan listrik tampaknya berkorelasi dengan lamanya kita menghirup kemerdekaan. Hampir 65 tahun kita merdeka, ternyata baru menghasilkan nisbah elektrifikasi (electrification ratio) 65 persen. Apakah 35 persen penduduk yang belum terjangkau listrik harus menunggu kemerdekaan genap 100 tahun?

Apakah bisa ditoleransi kalau masih ada provinsi, yakni Nusa Tenggara Timur, dengan nisbah elektrifikasi hanya 24 persen? Nasib saudara kita di kawasan timur Indonesia sama buruknya dengan NTT. Apakah bisa diterima akal sehat kalau provinsi-provinsi lumbung energi, yakni Sumatera Selatan dan Riau, hanya sekitar separuh penduduknya yang diberi aliran listrik?

Selama ini mereka pasrah. Kontras dengan warga Jakarta yang dalam sekejap mampu menyihir penguasa sehingga tiba-tiba sangat peduli dengan soal listrik. Bahkan pemerintah berjanji pasokan listrik di Jakarta normal kembali dalam bilangan hari.

Sejak sekarang, tak boleh lagi penyelesaian krisis listrik cuma menyentuh warga Jakarta. Banyak daerah yang sudah bertahun-tahun mengalami krisis listrik. Harus ada peta jalan yang gamblang, dengan target terukur, untuk menghadirkan listrik bagi rakyat kebanyakan, juga bagi industri dan kegiatan usaha lainnya.

Industri kita bakal makin sulit bersaing. Pertumbuhan industri manufaktur kian lemah. Pada triwulan III-2009 sektor ini tumbuh 1,3 persen, lebih rendah dari dua triwulan sebelumnya yang notabene sudah sangat rendah, yakni 1,5 persen. Pasokan listrik ditengarai salah satu kendala utama yang dihadapi industri manufaktur, selain ketenagakerjaan dan pembiayaan. Ironisnya, yang paling terpukul adalah industri kecil karena terlalu mahal bagi mereka membeli genset.

Krisis listrik tak akan separah sekarang jika pembangkit yang ada beroperasi optimal. Kuncinya, keberlanjutan pasokan energi primer yang murah (gas dan batu bara), pemanfaatan pembangkit swasta, serta pemeliharaan pembangkit dan jaringan transmisi/distribusi.

PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) berhasil meningkatkan porsi pembangkit dengan gas dan batu bara sehingga selama semester I-2009 bisa menghemat Rp 9,38 triliun. Potensi penghematan masih besar. PLTGU Tambak Lorok, misalnya, belum beroperasi optimal karena pemerintah tak kunjung menuntaskan pengaturan pasokan gas. Jangan sampai untuk mengamankan kepentingan kelompok bisnis swasta tertentu pemerintah mengorbankan PLN dan rakyat.

Yang juga bisa cepat ditangani pemerintah adalah mengamankan pasokan listrik dari PLTGU Tanjung Priok dan Muara Karang. Kedua pembangkit ini butuh tambahan pasokan gas, tetapi sampai saat ini belum ada kata putus dari Pertamina dan PT Perusahaan Gas Negara. Kalau pengikatan dengan sesama badan usaha milik negara saja tak kunjung tuntas, bisa dibayangkan rumitnya perundingan antara PT PLN dan IPP (independent power plants).

Sumber masalah di tangan pemerintah sebagai regulator. Pemerintah dan BP Migas perlu cepat bertindak agar kepastian segera hadir bagi pelaku di bidang kelistrikan.

Kelancaran pasokan batu bara perlu dijamin. Proses pengadaan energi primer ini perlu lebih transparan dan berkelanjutan. Benalu-benalu yang ditengarai masih membelit PLN dalam pengadaan energi primer harus dienyahkan, tanpa pandang bulu. PLN harus dibersihkan dari kelompok bisnis dan kepentingan politik yang masih berusaha mencengkeramkan pengaruhnya, yang membuat PLN tak leluasa bertindak, sebagaimana layaknya korporasi yang sehat.

Kedua, tambahan pasokan dapat pula diperoleh dengan cepat dari pembangkit swasta yang kelebihan pasokan. Sepanjang negosiasi harga berlangsung transparan, agaknya tak ada masalah yang menghadang. Lagi-lagi, pengaturan oleh pemerintah sebagai regulator ditunggu. Semakin lama keputusan dibuat, makin besar kerugian yang harus ditanggung oleh perekonomian.

Ketiga, membereskan pembangkit yang kerap mengalami gangguan, baik karena pemeliharaan yang kurang memadai maupun karena pembangunan pembangkit baru yang tidak memenuhi standar. Sejumlah pembangkit baru bermasalah karena spesifikasi teknis di bawah standar. Kita patut mempertanyakan, mengapa proyek-proyek bermutu rendah itu bisa lolos. Lagi-lagi kesalahan pada pemberi izin dan regulator.

Jangka menengah dan panjang

Sebagai pelaku utama, PLN masih akan berperan dominan dalam jangka menengah. Untuk itu, PLN perlu diberi kesempatan untuk tumbuh menjadi perusahaan yang sehat, memiliki kemampuan untuk tumbuh dan berkembang, serta mendapat laba secara wajar bagi keberlanjutan usahanya. PLN yang sehat akan lebih mampu menjawab tantangan kelistrikan nasional.

Jangan sampai beban subsidi membuat PLN terbelenggu. Subsidi bagi pelanggan rumah tangga di bawah 900 VA untuk sementara waktu masih perlu dipertahankan sebagai kebijakan afirmatif, wujud memenuhi tuntutan konstitusi, yakni memajukan kesejahteraan umum. Namun, di atas itu, apalagi kelompok konsumen rumah tangga yang sangat konsumtif tak pantas lagi menikmati subsidi.

Teramat tidak bijak apabila pemerintah terus mempertahankan struktur tarif listrik dengan kelompok pelanggan produktif menyubsidi kelompok pelanggan konsumtif.

Dalam kaitan ini, perlu reformasi struktur tarif. PLN tak akan pernah sehat kalau subsidi hanya mampu menutup ongkos variabel. PLN harus memperoleh ruang gerak untuk memperoleh margin usaha. Sudah barang tentu tarif yang diberlakukan untuk kategori nonsubsidi pun perlu di dalamnya termasuk margin yang wajar. Gunakan saja acuan yang ada di negara-negara tetangga.

Jika hitung-hitungan wajar yang minimal sekalipun tak kunjung terhadirkan karena pertimbangan politik, pada akhirnya pemerintah dan DPR akan sadar betapa mahal harga politik itu.

Semoga kesadaran itu tidak terlambat.

Faisal Basri Pengamat Ekonomi

Editor: jimbon

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