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Credit Suisse holds inaugural Asia Entrepreneurs Forum in Jakarta

Credit Suisse held its inaugural Asia Entrepreneurs Forum in Jakarta on 23 May.

The forum, entitled "Riding the wave of rising Asian consumerism" brought together more than 100 prominent entrepreneurs and leaders of the business communities both in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia, as well as Credit Suisse's capital markets experts, to network and discuss the vast business opportunities in the consumer sector in Indonesia and the impact of digital disruption.

Rizal Gozali, Co-Head of Credit Suisse's Southeast Asia Investment Banking & Capital Markets (IBCM), said, "Our inaugural Asia Entrepreneurs Forum provides an excellent platform to connect prominent and successful entrepreneurs as they share valuable expertise and insights on the growth they have achieved for their businesses, particularly amidst rapid advances in technology. As the Trusted Entrepreneur's Bank of Asia Pacific, Credit Suisse works closely with entrepreneurs to meet their private as well as corporate financial needs."

Mr. Gozali added, "We are proud to hold our first Asia Entrepreneurs Forum in Indonesia – a market in which Credit Suisse has built a leading franchise over the past 20 years. We remain positive about the prospects for Indonesia, where the bank's own research shows that consumer confidence has reached its highest levels since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, driven by improving economic growth, benign unemployment rates and healthier household balance sheets. The domestic market with its changing consumption patterns presents exciting opportunities for Indonesian and regional entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to grow and diversify their businesses."

The first panel discussion on "Digital disruptions in the emerging Asia consumer sector" featured two prominent technology entrepreneurs: John Riady, Director of Lippo Group, who led the Group's foray into the digital world through the establishment of Venturra Capital and various e-commerce platforms such as MatahariMall.com, MBiz and OVO; and Albert Lucius, CEO & Co-Founder of Kudo, Indonesia's leading Online-to-Offline (O2O) platform that enables digital entrepreneurs ("agents") to become the gateway for unbanked and less tech-savvy customers to the digital ecosystem.

The second panel discussion, "Expanding your consumer business? How, When and Why," featured some of the leading public and private companies in the consumer sector in Indonesia: Wendy Yap, President & CEO of PT Nippon Indosari Corpindo Tbk, the largest bread manufacturer in Indonesia, Tan Yong Nang, CEO of Japfa Limited, a leading pan-Asian industrial agri-food company, and Ruslan Tanoko, Vice President & Director, PT Avia Avian, Indonesia's leading decorative paint company. The panel shared their experiences and success stories on how they have expanded their consumer businesses and the importance of succession planning.

Credit Suisse's Investment Banking and Capital Markets team of experts also shared their views on the implications of rising Asian consumerism for businesses in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia, and how entrepreneurs can strategically leverage equity and debt financing through the private and public markets to grow their businesses and expand domestically or overseas.

Credit Suisse has a long-standing history in Indonesia, having established its presence in the country in the 1990s with a representative office and in 2002, PT Credit Suisse Sekuritas Indonesia was set-up. It has built a leading, award-winning franchise in Indonesia, and today has one of the largest on-the-ground investment banking teams amongst its international peers. Credit Suisse is consistently ranked as one of the top banks in the country‘s capital markets, with a reputation for being one of the most experienced cross border M&A advisors in Indonesia and having led a majority of the landmark international offerings by Indonesian and Indonesian owned corporates. Recent consumer-related sector deals advised on by Credit Suisse include a USD 1.4 billion rights issue and concurrent share placement for PT HM Sampoerna Tbk in 2015; GIC's USD 380mn investment in CT Group's PT Trans Retail Indonesia and PT Matahari Department Store Tbk's USD 227 million equity placement, both in 2016; and PT Japfa Comfeed Indonesia Tbk's USD 150 million bond offering in 2017.

The opening Keynote Address entitled "Consumed in Asia – the New Paradigm" was delivered by Lito Camacho, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse AG, Asia Pacific. The concluding Keynote Speaker on "US-China in Focus: Perspectives and Relationships" was Professor Jing Huang, Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations and Director of Centre on Asia and Globalization with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.