Keppel tops out office tower in Jakarta

From left: Mr Jonathan Wall, director of architecture firm NBBJ, Mr Sam Moon Thong, head of Keppel Land's Indonesia operations, Mr Franky Sibarani, head of Indonesia's investment agency BKPM, Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore's Ambassador to Indonesia (
From left: Mr Jonathan Wall, director of architecture firm NBBJ, Mr Sam Moon Thong, head of Keppel Land's Indonesia operations, Mr Franky Sibarani, head of Indonesia's investment agency BKPM, Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, Singapore's Ambassador to Indonesia (in foreground), Mr Loh Chin Hua, Keppel Corporation chief executive officer and Keppel Land chairman, Ms Meri Ernahani, Assistant Deputy Governor of Jakarta for Industry, Trade and Transportation, and Mr Ang Wee Gee, CEO of Keppel Land.PHOTO: KEPPEL CORP

Developer Keppel Land marked the completion of the top floor of its 48-storey office building in central Jakarta with a topping off ceremony yesterday.

The $120 million block, which will be ready for lease by early next year, will target foreign financial institutions and businesses.  

The ceremony, which was attended by Singapore's Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Anil Kumar Nayar, is a sign of Keppel's long-term commitment to the country.

 While there have been doubts over President Joko Widodo's ability to push through reform and accelerate growth, the company expects the Indonesian economy to stabilise within a year, said Mr Sam Moon Thong, the head of its Indonesia operations. 

"What we are doing is that we are taking a long-term view of Indonesia, Jakarta as well. We are developing our properties for the long term. We are confident the economy will recover," he added. 

Mr Sam noted that Indonesia is not alone in facing a slowing economy. Indonesia recorded its slowest half-year  growth in six years this year. This has prompted some investors to question Mr Joko's commitment to his campaign pledges, especially reform in cutting red tape and spurring large-scale development. 

Keppel Land is also building apartment buildings in the fast-growing West Jakarta region, with 7,000 units in the pipeline. 

Mr Sam told a conference that the firm's focus will remain in greater Jakarta even though the company has land banks in Bali and Surabaya, East Java. 

"We will continue to develop, for example, residential. There is always demand whether the market is good or bad. When the market is good, we will develop, if it is not so good, we will slow down," he added.

Mr Franky Sibarani, the head of BKPM, Indonesia's investment agency, said the country will make it easier for property investors to do business there by cutting red tape.  

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2015, with the headline 'Keppel tops out office tower in Jakarta'. Print Edition | Subscribe