Business

New IDX president director
vows to double clients
via Internet

The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) newly-elected president director Ito Warsito pledged on Wednesday to develop the online trading system via the Internet so as to encourage more people to invest in the local stock market.

Ito vowed in the next three years to more than double the number of retail investors each year, aiming at 2.3 million people by 2012, by upgrading online trading technology systems to attract Internet users.

"We are aware that the future of our bourse means reaching out to people in remote areas," Ito said in a press conference that announced the victory of Ito and colleagues for IDX top posts.

Currently, there are only 329,000 retail investors listed in the exchange's data base.

The new IT director under the Ito package, Adikin Basirun, said that the IDX would propose to allocate Rp 100 billion for upgrading the online trading system so that it would be capable of reaching more retail investors across the archipelago,

By having more retail investors, IDX would aim to double market capitalization by 2012, Ito added.

The Ito ticket was elected to the IDX top posts in a vote held during the IDX annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday

The Ito package managed to secure 79 votes during the election, beating another candidate, I Made Rugeh Ramia, whose proposed ticket only secured 36 votes.

Ito, who is the president commissioner of local brokerage firm PT Bahana Securities, will replace Erry Firmansyah as the IDX new president director.

Ito and other IDX new directors are expected to face major challenges in the future following the October 2008 market crash, when many investors pulled out of the market.

Even though the Indonesian stock market has slowly recovered since early this year, the challenge remains as the number of local investors in the country is still very low compared to the region.

The latest data from IDX show that daily trading values are now averaging Rp 4.5 trillion, much higher than the Rp 2 trillion early this year, while total market capitalization rose to Rp 1,647 trillion on June 12 from Rp 1,131 trillion in Jan. 9. This encouraging data on recovery of market volume is not yet matched by robust growth in the number of local investors, still less than 1 percent of the total population.

In Singapore, the percentage of the population investing in the stock market is around 30 percent. Malaysia already has 4.5 million individual accounts with the stock market.

"We are aware that the state of our industry will depend on the confidence of the investors," Ito said.

"We will try to manage negative rumors in the market and put them in the right context so as not to disrupt trading activity," he said, adding there needed to be better coordination between the stock market authorities and securities houses.

Commenting on the targets made by the new directors, the IDX former president director Erry said that the goals were realistic enough, considering that most of the elected directors were experienced people, like Eddy Sugito and Friderica Widyasari Dewi, who were previously the directors for listing and the corporate secretary, respectively, during Erry's tenure.

From the industry's players' side, Indonesian Securities Companies Association (APEI) chairwoman Lily Widjaya welcomed the decision to name Ito as the new president director of the IDX, saying that the decision had been based on a fair and democratic voting procedure.

"We hope that the new IDX directors can work together with us to improve the local stock market industry," Lily said.

Newly elected IDX directors:
1. President director : Ito Warsito
2. Director for trading and securities companies: Wan Wei Yiong
3. Director for business development: Friderica Widyasari Dewi
4. Director for regulation and monitoring: Uriep Budhi Prasetyo
5. Director for corporate grading : Eddy Sugito
6. Director for information and technology: Adikin Basirun
7. Director for finance and human resources: Supandi

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