The Salim Group, one of Indonesia's biggest conglomerates (owning leading companies in various sectors of the Indonesian economy), has high ambitions in the nation's banking sector after having acquired a majority stake in Bank Ina Perdana in early March 2017. For the first time in 19 years the conglomerate, founded by Sudono Salim in 1972, is back in Indonesia's banking industry.
The banking sector is nothing new to the Salim Group. The group was the founder of Bank Central Asia (BCA), one of Indonesia's leading banks and among the largest companies listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (in terms of market capitalization).
However, the banking sector of Indonesia was the primary reason why the Asian Financial Crisis hit Indonesia particularly hard. There was few to no oversight and monitoring in Indonesia's banking sector during the last chapter of Suharto's New Order regime. For example, the central bank (Bank Indonesia) had no idea about the exact amount of companies' foreign debt. When the crisis arrived in Indonesia in 1997 the rupiah collapsed and most banks nearly collapsed as people rushed to take their money.
BCA was one of the banks that sought assistance from the Indonesian government that had established the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (BPPN) with the aim to try to save the banking sector. BPPN took control of BCA by injecting the necessary capital into the bank, implying the Salim Group had lost this asset. After the Asian Financial Crisis the Djarum Group bought a majority stake in BCA.
The Salim Group recovered after the crisis and is again one of the biggest conglomerates of Southeast Asia's largest economy with assets such as Indofood Sukses Makmur. However, it did not own another bank until March 2017 when - through a rights issue - it obtained a 51.46 percent stake in Bank Ina Perdana.
Edy Kuntardjo, General Director of Bank Ina Perdana, says the bank's management wants to turn the bank into the most efficient bank of Indonesia, similar to BCA. BCA is an efficient bank as its credit originates mostly from third-party funds (not from bonds or loans that are more expensive tools to obtain funds for credit disbursement).
The other shareholders in Bank Ina Perdana are Indolife Pensiontama (22.47 percent), Samudra Biru (16.51 percent), and Gaya Hidup Masa Kini (12.48 percent).
Considering the Salim Group has numerous companies in various sectors (including consumer goods, agribusiness, retail and automotive), Bank Ina Perdana is in a good position to grow as it can obtain many clients from within the Salim Group.