Goldman Says Internet Firms' Next Big Fight Will Be in Indonesia

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(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says the next battle for technology companies will be fought in Indonesia, because of the Asian country’s huge population, high economic growth and “untapped market potential.”

In a report that the brokerage describes as the “first of its kind,” analysts led by Miang Chuen Koh analyzed the two sectors that they believes offer the biggest opportunities for profits -- gaming and e-commerce -- and took a bottom-up approach to determine the size of the market. It says gaming revenue could have a compounded annual growth rate of 22 percent over the next five years, while gross merchandise value in e-commerce could see a CAGR of 61 percent.

Notice, Goldman says, how some of the biggest names in the technology industry have made large investments in the Southeast Asian country in the last few years. It cited SoftBank Group Corp., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. (For example, Softbank was part of a group that invested $100 million in Internet shopping hub Tokopedia in 2014. It also teamed up with Didi Chuxing to invest $2 billion in Grab, which just bought Uber’s business in Southeast Asia.)

Buy The Underdog

But those companies are not the ones that the brokerage is recommending buying -- at least not in this report.

The best way to play this? Buy the ADRs of a Singapore-based internet company called Sea Ltd. Sea is the parent of Indonesia’s Garena (a digital entertainment business) and e-commerce platform Shopee. Sea is well-positioned to benefit from Indonesia’s growth prospects, trends and competitions, Goldman said.

Sea’s ADRs have fallen 30 percent since they were listed in 2017. Despite that, there are no analyst bears. The company has 9 buy ratings, and analysts expect the ADRs to rise 76 percent over the next 12 months. Goldman is even more bullish: it reckons they will double.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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