With sentiment improving slightly in global markets, we now recommends that you dip your toe back into global stock markets.
We are betting on what has been the world’s best-performing stock market of 2010 — Indonesia.
Few markets in the world — except for maybe Brazil — have enjoyed as much of a turnaround in investor sentiment as Indonesia.
As the world’s fourth-largest country with a population of 225 million, Indonesia boasts a young-and-growing population with Jakarta, the nation’s capital, expected to be the largest city in the world within two decades.
Once the sick man of South Asia, economic reforms initiated in 2004 have helped make it official Indonesian policy to add another “I” to the “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) acronym.
In addition to its vast natural resources, Indonesia has other advantages. Unlike typical export-driven Asian economies, domestic consumption makes up two-thirds of the economy. That has helped shelter Indonesia from the effects of the Great Recession that rocked Asia’s more export-dependent nations.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that Indonesia will grow 6% this year, up from 4.5% in 2009. The chairman of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board claims 6% to 7% growth is “pretty much in the pocket.”
The economy is certainly off to a strong start in 2010. GDP grew at a rate of 5.7% in the three months to March 31 from a year earlier — the fastest pace in more than a year in Q1 as record-low interest rates boosted consumer spending and exports and investment recovered.
Exports, which account for 26% of gross domestic product, rose 19.6% in the first quarter from a year earlier. Low inflation has allowed the central bank to keep rates at a record low of 6.5%.
It’s no surprise then that Indonesia is the single-best performing global market of 2010 — up around 11.3% in U.S. dollar terms.
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