Retail trading in Indonesia has exploded, thanks to Instagram influencers and their millions of followers, contends an article in Bloomberg. One such influencer is Jam’an Nurchotib Mansur, a Muslim cleric with 13 million followers, whose Instagram account has brought scores of young investors into the market. Retail investors account for 60% of daily trading in Indonesia’s market, with 80% of those investors under the age of 40.
Large institutional investors are starting to pay attention to influencers around the globe, and some are encouraging fellow analysts to hop on the social media bandwagon. Mansur says he is influenced by the Islamic tenet of sadaqah, which encourages charity and kindness. He established PT PayTren Aset Manajemen in 2017, which makes its investments in compliance with Shariah—a draw in a country that has the largest Muslim population in the world.
Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority, its securities watchdog, has no specific rule that governs celebrities in the market, and the Director of Indonesia Stock Exchange, Hasan Fawzi, sees Mansur and other influencers as positive for the markets because they help attract new investors. But he adds that “…we have talked to these influencers and asked them to educate their followers properly…” and in February there was a petition calling for the Exchange to ban celebrity stock market influencers. As for Mansur, he says his goal is to educate, and pick stocks with long-term potential, not for short-term profit.