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Jouska's Discontinuation Over Questionable Practices

PT Jouska Financial Indonesia – an Indonesian financial planning service company – had made headlines due to their questionable usage of client funds. PT Jouska’s blunder originated from the rise of client complaints on social media that went viral. The company shockingly guided a client to sign an investor fund account management (RDI) contract with a company affiliated with Jouska Indonesia, PT Mahesa Strategis Indonesia (MSI), revolving around investment fund management. The investment funds are used to buy shares and mutual funds, including PT Sentral Mitra Informatika Tbk (LUCK) shares. Eventually, the problem rose due to the portfolio continuously plummeting, especially shares belonging to LUCK. LUCK shares have just entered the IPO in November 2018 with a price of IDR 286 per share. LUCK successfully shot 49.65% on the day of the initial offering to touch the Auto Reject Top level and peaked their highest point on July 26, 2019 at Rp 2050/unit with a percentage increase of 716%. But at the close of trading on Wednesday (7/29), this stock was traded for only Rp 306 per share. Many clients whose portfolio values continued to fall asked to sell shares (cut loss), in which afterwards was unfortunately opposed by the company.

According to a survey conducted by CNBC Indonesia to capital market practitioners, the practitioners unanimously agreed that Jouska, as an investment consultant should’ve recommended stocks that are known to be liquid such as stocks that were listed on LQ45 or Kompas100. “It’s an unjustifiable thing for Jouska to recommend, and further execute clients assets to be invested in stocks that aren’t liquid, have low trade volume, and the price is not moving fundamentally,” said one of the capital market practitioners, as LUCK seems apparent to be one of the stocks with uncertain liquidity. Some have speculated that there is a conflict of interest between Jouska and Phillip Securities as Phillip Securities was the 'underwriter' for LUCK when they launched their IPO in late 2018. Recently, Jouska CEO, Aakaar Abyasa Fidzuno responded that Jouska has no affiliation with Phillip Securities whatsoever, but according to further investigation, in November 2018, Aakar posted a photo with the CEO of Serial System Ltd, the company that owns 20% of LUCK, 0.78% of Philips Securities shares, and also operates in similar prospects with LUCK. When interviewed by CNBC Indonesia, Aakar mentions that the purchase of LUCK shares was reasonable due to LUCK’s uptrend at the time. Later on, he compared his case to Amazon as an example, in which he stated, “During its IPO in 1997 Amazon only had few investors that are willing to put their money but look at amazon now.”

Following the news, Satgas Waspada Investasi (SWI) finally ceased the operation of PT Jouska Financial Indonesia, and the company itself has stated that it has ceased operation on Thursday (07/23). This decision is a direct result of SWI findings of the legality and business model of PT Jouska Financial Indonesia. Besides PT Jouska Financial Indonesia, SWI also ceased PT Mahesa Strategies Indonesia (MSI) and PT Amartha Investa after the disclosure of investment advisory activities, investment managers, or securities companies without permission from the governing body. Furthermore, SWI also blocks the website, application, and social media of those three companies. On Monday (07/27), the Instagram account of PT Jouska Financial Indonesia’s CEO Aakar Abyasa was found no longer accessible. The last time he was seen was on a video uploaded to his Instagram account, apologizing to his clients, stakeholders, regulators, and colleagues in the financial industry for making a scene. "I try not to defend the current situation, but through this video, I want to ask and find a middle ground to provide the best solution for all parties," said Aakar on the video. Thereafter, Chief of SWI, Tongam L. Tobing, asked Jouska to take care of the proper licensing according to their business activities. This week SWI will also call Jouska management to further their investigation. In a wild series of events, Jouska, famous for its unique investment and financial advice for so called "millenials", faces serious repercussions to its alarmingly erratic actions.



CNBC Indonesia

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