For a number of years now, I’ve looked at how the valuation of just one individual US stock (the behemoth internet stock Google) compares to the entire value of all the stocks listed on the stock market in Indonesia.
When I first did the calculations back in 2006, Google was valued at US$130 billion and worth more than all the Indonesian companies put together (just US$80 billion).
To me this didn’t make much sense.
How could one single company, operating almost exclusively in the virtual world, be worth more than all the Indonesian cement producers, mining, property and retail films, banks, agribusiness firms and telecom companies combined?
Surely this must change.
And it did.
Until, by last year, Indonesia’s stock market was worth 1.87 times Google.
This, of course, reflects the change in the global economic landscape, whereby fast growing developing countries (like China, India and Indonesia) are catching up with the so-called sunset countries in the west (like the UK and France).
Image source: Agorafinancial
So what about 2012? What happened then?
Well, not something I had expected. Because despite the brisk economic growth in Indonesia – as evident by a booming property sector and huge inflows of foreign capital – Google managed to keep apace with Indonesia in 2012!
In fact, 2012 actually proved to be a very good year for the American company. Its share price surged a highly impressive 10.41 percent, translating into total market capitalization of US$232 billion (up from US$205.2 billion at the end of 2011):
Indonesia, by comparison, fared less well. This wasn’t because share prices didn’t go up – they did – but because much of the gains were wiped out by the worrying slide in the rupiah.
As a result, by the end of 2012, Indonesia was worth US$393 billion or 1.69 times Google – or less than the 1.87 times last year!
Of course, the data may just be a blip and Indonesia should perform much better in 2013. After all, what could possibly go wrong. Prabo… No!!!!!!