Time Zone Shift Unnecessary, Indonesia Bourse Chief Says
Ivan Dasa Saputra
One of the main reasons the Indonesian government has given for its plan to shift the country to a single time zone is that it will bring the Indonesian Stock Exchange in line with bourses in Singapore, Malaysia and China.
But the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) had already planned to bring forward its trading hours by an hour, IDX president director Ito Warsito said on Friday.
“When we about to implement our plan, the government came out with its own agenda,” Ito said. “Our plan is not related with the government’s plan.”
The Indonesian archipelago now has three time zones and Jakarta is an hour behind Asean neighbors Singapore and Malaysia, as well as major trading partner China.
Indonesia’s Trade Ministry said recently that the government would switch to a single time zone on Oct. 28, allowing the country to match clock in Singapore, Malaysia and China. The change will put Indonesia eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Ito said the IDX was waiting to see what the government did before it decided whether to switch its hours.
“We don’t want to change ourselves, then see the government adjust the time zone. That would make a double shoot,” he said.
Switching to a single time zone is supposed to help Indonesia’s stock market, the government has said. But Ito said it wouldn’t make much of an impact.
“That is a wrong opinion, as [the single time zone] is not meant for the stock market,” Ito said. “Stock trading is concentrated in the western part of Indonesia, and some in central parts, not so much in Sulawesi and Bali. So the impact is not that significant.”
Other reasons given in support of the time zone shift are that the move will increase productivity for businesses that operate in two or more time zones, cut energy consumption by making people leave home earlier and turning off their appliances earlier, and prevent confusion among tourists who might forget to adjust their watches when traveling between time zones.