Harita Nickel courts investors as Indonesian nickel expands

Indonesia’s Harita Nickel has started its investor roadshow ahead of a $600m public listing later this month. This comes as the first act in a political effort to keep nickel processing within Indonesia.

The country has seen a record year for public listings, with nickel companies driving the charge. The Financial Times reports that Harita Nickel, a subsidiary of the Harita Group, hopes to raise at least $600m in March.

Merdeka Battery Materials is also planning a local listing in the first half of this year. Hillcon, a nickel producer that went public on the stock exchange last week, is currently trading 25% higher than its initial offering price.

Investors seem enthusiastic as Indonesia seeks to become a key player in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain. Indonesia has the largest nickel reserves in the world and is also the largest producer. In total Indonesia holds around 22% of the world’s nickel reserves.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo wishes for Indonesia to become a key player in the global EV supply chain. He has said of their position that “around 60 percent of electric cars will depend on [their] EV batteries, 60 percent of the world’s market share.”

Building an Indonesian supply chain
In 2019, Indonesia banned the export of raw nickel, seeking to expand its downstream processing capabilities. As part of a process known as “downstreaming”, external companies are encouraged to build production plants on Indonesian soil, contributing to its domestic economy.

Following the ban, foreign EV manufacturers have made plans to develop their business in the country. South Korean company LG Energy Solutions has announced investment of $9.8bn in the country for the production of EVs. In 2021, LG Energy Solutions and Hyundai Motor Group also began the construction of a $1.1bn EV battery plant in Bekasi, West Java.

China’s EV company CATL have already invested in the Indonesian industry while Tesla and BYD are being courted by the government.

Indonesian nickel exports were valued at nearly $30bn last year, more than ten times what they were a decade ago.

In addition to nickel, other metal companies are heading for the market. Indonesia’s second-largest copper and gold miner, Amman Mineral International, is planning an IPO of up to $1bn in the first half.

President Joko Widodo said in has 2022 keynote speech that they will “create a large ecosystem so that other countries will depend on us because we already have nickel, copper, bauxite, and tin. We have enormous potential”.

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