This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Indonesia Watch: Big Brands Thrive in Jakarta

JAKARTA (TheStreet) -- Here at More Coffee Please in the financial district, electronica plays in the background while guys in designer specs and pressed shorts sit with Macs and Lenovo laptops. They might work in the giant black glass tower outside the cafe doors.

Behind me, plastics are being fed onto a bonfire rimmed by partly demolished single-story shacks. Chickens wander the garbage-lined paths along with idle children. I recognized the contrast right off from my time in Beijing. I also know how it will unfold: The slum will disappear under pressure to build out a financial district that's flush with foreign multinationals as moneyed business people pack the Indonesian capital.

Like Beijing, where I lived seven years, Jakarta has crept across on a coastal plain crowded largely by opportunity seekers from around the country, people for example who make a few rupiah guiding cars through traffic time-waster jams. Many in the city of 9 million have earned enough money that they need and they have real estate, cars and high-end smartphones to prove it.

So like its Chinese peer, Indonesia's biggest city has drawn multinationals to grow along with a wealthy urban consumer population unfazed by 8.8% inflation.

Billboards along the city's main arteries tout smartphones by Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) and Sony (SNE), while locals also boast preferences for devices from BlackBerry (BBRY) and HTC Corp.

Tablets are also in vogue, especially for people who must sweat through the traffic jams but can let someone else drive. According to an eyeball survey of Jakarta's roads this week, they're most likely to be riding in a vehicle made by Honda (HMC) or Toyota (TM).

Meals of rice or noodles in the slum cost about 50 cents. For those who can put out $5 instead, the mall next door to More Coffee Please is a who's who of American fast food: McDonald's (MCD) and Yum Brands' (YUM) Pizza Hut to name just two.

Consumption in the city's estimated 130 shopping malls also favors name-brand clothing. Behind the malls loom construction and real estate firms, largely local but including also big overseas peers such asShangri-La Asia (SHALY) apartments.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,051.73 -48.45 -0.28%
S&P 500 1,973.63 -4.59 -0.23%
NASDAQ 4,424.7040 -7.4420 -0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs