SUMMER TRIANGLE TO INVEST US$250 MILLION N BIO FUEL PROJECT. Summer Triangle LCC Hong Kong and Rural Cooperative (Inkud) have signed an initial agreement to produce bio fuel from jatropha curcas with an investment of US$250 million in 50 years. The agreement which will include the opening of 100,000 hectare of jatropha curcas plantation was signed between Inkud general chairman Herman Wutun and Shannon S.H. Chin, representing Summer Triangle LCC at the Graha Inkud. Under the cooperation agreement Inkud through its units such as Village Unit Cooperative Center will provide land for the plantation and workers in a number of areas. Summer Triangle is to provide all funds and technology needed and will handle the processing and marketing. According to plan, in the first phase a plantation of 1,000 hectares will be opened in East Kalimantan to be followed with the opening of more plantations in other areas that will total 100,000 hectares in 50 years.
TOYOTA TO BOOST PRODUCTION. PT Toyota Astra Motor (TAM) plans to increase its car production in May as stock of Toyota cars in various types were dwindling. In March TAM recorded sales at 13,458 units leaving only stocks enough to meet market demand for 7 days. Normally stock is enough to cover sales for 15 days. Currently buyers of some Toyota cars especially multipurpose types such as Avanza, Kijang Innova and sedan Camry have to place orders with advance payment. Jodjana, the Sales Division Chief of TAM said the company has since last month asked its factory to increase supply by phases. Currently stock of Avanza is shrinking now only enough to meet sales for 0.1 month. Wholesales (shipment from factory to dealers) of Toyota in the country dropped 7.2% to 11,162 units in March from 12,032 units in February. Avanza and Kijang Innova remain the largest contributors with sales at 7,603 units and 2,349 units respectively.
TELKOMSEL GRANTED ADDITIONAL 3G FREQUENCIES. The country's largest cellular phone operator PT Telkomsel, the subsidiary of state telecommunication company PT Telkom, is the only one qualifying for additional 3G frequency, an official said. Telkomsel is the only 3G operators agreed to pay Rp160 billion in annual fee for the additional frequency, Post and Telecommunications Director General Basuki Yusuf Iskandar said. Other bidders PT Indosat and Excelcomindo Pratama described the price too expensive, Basuki said. The government, however, has not made the final decision, he said. Basuki said the operators rather than the government had determined the price pointing out in 2006, Indosat offered to pay Rp160 billion for 3G frequency of 5 MHz, Excelcomindo offered a price of Rp188 billion and Telkomsel at Rp218 billion. The government, therefore, decides to set the price at Rp160 billion as a benchmark, he said. He said if the crisis causes problem for the operators they still have the opportunity to make their bidding next year.
PERTAMINA HANDS OVER MANAGEMENT OF NON CORE BUSIENSS TO PPA. State-oil and gas company PT Pertamina will hand over the management of its stakes in five subsidiaries and 11 property assets to the asset management company PT Perusahaan Pengelola Aset (PPA) to be able to concentrate more on its core business. Pertamina and PPA have signed a memorandum understanding on the deal to be effective for 12 months that could be extended if needed. Pertamina President Karen Agustiawan said Pertamina wants to focus more on oil and gas business and biofuel industry. The company, therefore, will hand over control of its stakes in airline company PT Pelita Air Service (99.99%), hotel company PT Patra Jasa (99.98%), dockyard operator PT Patria Dok Dumai (99.97%), PT Usayana (95%) and PT Seamless Pipe Indonesia Jaya (13%) and 11 property assets in Jakarta and Tangerang. Earlier Pertamina said it wants to concentrate more on business in upstream oil and gas sector which contributes larger profit.
TELKOM SECURES US$100 MLN LOAN IN VENDOR FINANCING FROM CHINESE COMPANY. PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (Telkom) has secured a vendor financing valued at US$100 million from Huawei to finance development of CDMA and broadband business. Telkom Finance Director Sudiro Asno said the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese company. Sudiro said Huawei has even committed to provide vendor financing of up to US$1 billion, but in the first phase Telkom will take only US$100 million. Vendor financing is one of the financing alternatives sought by Telkom. Telkom is seeking loans from 21 banks. Until early March, 15 banks already pledged a total loan of Rp5 trillion for Telkom. In addition to business expansion, Rp3 trillion of the loan fund will be used for the acquisition of telecommunication companies. Telkom hopes to complete in the middle of this year the process of acquiring a local company and a stake in an Iranian telecommunication company - Telecommunication Company of Iran. Telkom also needs fund for investment mainly in Telkom-3 satellite and the project of Jakaladema (Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Denpasar, and Mataram).