The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced that the country's foreign exchange reserves fell to USD $111.5 billion at the end of November 2016, from USD $115.0 billion in the preceding month. The USD $3.5 billion decline was caused by Bank Indonesia's efforts to stabilize the rupiah exchange rate as well as the government's external debt repayments. Despite the decline, Bank Indonesia regards the current level of forex reserves as healthy.
Bank Indonesia used part of the reserves to stabilize the rupiah that had become under pressure after Donald Trump won the 2016 US presidential election in early November. In the two weeks after the US election, the rupiah depreciated about 3.5 percent against the US dollar. By selling US dollars the lender of last resort limited gains of the US dollar against the local currency and "put the currency in line with its fundamentals". In mid-November Bank Indonesia had already confirmed that it had intervened in both the foreign exchange and bond markets.
Earlier, Juda Agung, Executive Director of Economic and Monetary Policy Department Bank Indonesia, said a total of IDR 30 trillion (approx. USD $2.26 billion) worth of capital outflows from Indonesia occurred after Trump was chosen as 45th US president. However, year-to-date the balance is still positive; around IDR 105 trillion worth of capital inflows occurred since the start of the year.
In a statement on the website of Bank Indonesia, it said "the reserve asset position at end-November adequately covers 8.5 months of imports or 8.1 months of imports and servicing of government external debt repayments, well above the international standards of reserves adequacy at three months of imports". According to the central bank the drop in forex reserves last month is a temporary phenomenon. Considering there exists optimism about the domestic economy, improved export performance, and the conducive development of global financial markets the reserves should improve in the following month.
Foreign Exchange Reserves Indonesia 2008 - 2016:
¹ in billion USD dollar at year-end
² per end-November 2016
Source: Bank Indonesia
After being plagued by pressure in November the rupiah has been appreciating considerably (without central bank support) since the start of December.
Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar:| Source: Bank Indonesia