Jakarta. The market cap of Bank Central Asia, or BCA, Indonesia's most valuable lender, has increased as high as Rp 1,017 trillion, or $71.5 billion, for a brief period on Wednesday. The lender was the first company listed in the Indonesia Stock Exchange that managed to move past the quadrillion rupiah mark.
BCA saw its shares rose as high at Rp 8.250 apiece before closing at Rp 7.525 on Wednesday, 2.7 percent higher than Tuesday's close.
The jump followed BCA's decision to split its stock into five shares, a move that it hoped would make its shares more accessible to retail investors.
"With the new price starting today, the company hopes that BCA's share price will be relatively affordable and will receive a positive response from novice investors, who are currently actively investing in the capital market," Jahja Setiaatmadja, BCA's president director, said in a statement.
BCA shares used to be traded north of Rp 30,000 apiece this year. With Indonesia's minimum lot trading size of 100 shares, retail investors must set aside at least Rp 3 million for starting investing in the bank.
That level often prices out millions of novice retail investors like new job entrants or students. For comparison, Jakarta's minimum wage in 2020 was Rp 4.2 million.
In the past two years, the novice investors came in droves into the stock market, following the bourse investment campaign in campuses and the rise of stocks influencers in social media. The Financial Services Authority (OJK) data showed more than 5.6 million retail and institutional investors at the end of June, compared to 2.5 million at the end of 2019.
Stockbroker Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia previously revised its target BCA's net profit this year to Rp 29.9 trillion, compared to the previous projection of around Rp 33.3 trillion. Mirae also revised BCA's loan growth from 7.7 percent to 5 percent this year.
Mirae based its projection on the ongoing pandemic conditions in the third quarter of 2021, especially related to the implementation of social restrictions which limit people's economic activities. Under these conditions, demand for credit was low, leaving banks with ample liquidity that gained lower interests.
BCA earned a net profit of Rp 14.5 trillion in the first six months this year, growing 18 percent from the same period last year.