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Both currencies have fallen sharply since the beginning of the year, alongside a rise in expectations for improved global growth and faster policy tightening by the Fed. The Fed raised its interest rates by a quarter percent on Wednesday, and forecast two more hikes for 2018, highlighting its growing confidence that tax cuts and government spending will boost the U.S. economy. The recent falls in the rupee and rupiah are reminiscent of the 2013 selloff when foreign investors fled emerging-Asia markets after the Fed signalled an end to ultra-easy crisis policy.
Indonesia plans to keep electricity tariffs and fuel prices unchanged this year and the next by hiking subsidies, two cabinet ministers and a senior official said, in a move aimed at increasing the purchasing power of its citizens. "The president understands that people's purchasing power must be kept at its current level, if not increased," Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan told reporters late on Monday. The government will request parliament to approve the additional spending soon, he said.
E-commerce firm PT Kioson Komersial Indonesia Tbk drew strong investor interest for Indonesia's first ever IPO by a startup, and its shares surged on their trading debut in very thin volumes on Thursday. The response to the IPO could potentially pave the way for more technology companies in Southeast Asia's biggest economy to follow in Kioson's footsteps and list in the domestic stock market. Indonesia's startup scene is booming as investors are lured by the youthful demographic of the country of 250 million people, who are increasingly buying anything from tickets to electronic gadgets online.