Indonesia Poll to Lift Infrastructure Laggards: Chart of the Day

No matter who wins Indonesia’s presidential election, infrastructure-related companies in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy are poised to get a boost.

While the Jakarta Composite Index has posted the region’s biggest gain during the past decade, the CHART OF THE DAY shows Indonesia’s infrastructure companies have lagged behind. The Jakarta Infrastructure, Utility & Transportation Index has climbed 311 percent during outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s term, versus a 517 percent advance in the nine-industry benchmark measure.

Joko Widodo, the governor of Jakarta, has a narrow lead over former general Prabowo Subianto in opinion surveys as voters in the world’s fourth-most populous nation head to the polls today. While the candidates differ on policies toward government debt and spending, both have pledged to improve the roads and seaports connecting the country’s more than 17,500 islands.

“They will have to develop infrastructure,” Farash Farich, a money manager at Jakarta-based PT AAA Asset Management which oversees about 5 trillion rupiah ($430 million), said by phone yesterday. “We prefer cement companies as they are also the beneficiaries of infrastructure development.”

Widodo says he wants to build 2,000 kilometers (1,244 miles) of new roads, 10 seaports and 10 industrial zones. Prabowo pledged to spend 1,400 trillion rupiah in five years to construct 3,000 kilometers of roads and 4,000 kilometers of railways, along with airports, seaports, power and telecommunication networks.

Shares of PT Charoen Pokphand Indonesia, the nation’s biggest poultry producer, advanced more than 14,700 percent during Yudhoyono’s term. Cement maker PT Semen Indonesia climbed 1,458 percent in the same period, while tollroad operator PT Jasa Marga gained 199 percent since listing in 2007.

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