TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Lippo Group, a conglomerate founded by national tycoon Mochtar Riady, announced its plan to strengthen its market to Southeast Asia (ASEAN). The company has set up an investment fund of Rp35.2 trillion to Rp587 trillion (approx. US$3 billion to US$5billion), targeting markets in the Philippines, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Lippo Karawaci spokesman Danang Kemayan Jati said the company saw an opportunity to develop its businesses in ASEAN countries for the next five to 10 years. The markets in Philippines, Myanmar, and Vietnam, he said, have significant potential.
Reuters yesterday reported that Lippo Group CEO James Riady said the company targeting the health, food retail, and telecommunications sectors in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Myanmar in the next three to five years. The move is in line with the company's target to diversify its markets by tapping into new ones.
William Suryawijaya, analyst from Asjaya Indosurya Securities, said Lippo's plan is an appropriate one given how promising ASEAN markets' are. Moreover, several countries in the region still require facilities and infrastructure in the health, communications, and food retail sectors.
However, capital market observer Yanuar Rizky said he was doubtful of Lippo's expansion plan to ASEAN. Yanuar was unsure about the funding source for the expansion. Another consideration is the detailed plan.
"There is a possibility that [James Riady] is just creating a buzz; as one of his property companies is going public," he told Tempo yesterday.
Lippo Group is planning to list one of its property subsidiaries in the second half of this year. The subsidiary has a total assets value of Rp10 trillion. There is no news regarding which subsidiary will go public, and it is likely that the expansion plan was deliberately announced to raise the IPO price.
GANGSAR PARIKESIT | FAIZ NASHRILLAH