The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) reported that the country's foreign exchange reserves rose by USD $2.1 billion to USD $113.5 billion in August 2016 on the back of tax revenues, oil and gas export earnings, the withdrawal of public foreign debt, and the selling of foreign currency-denominated Bank Indonesia Securities (SBBIs). Inflows of foreign currency exceeded the amount that Indonesian authorities had to pay for foreign debt settlements and maturing SBBIs.
In a statement released on www.bi.go.id Bank Indonesia stated that the current foreign exchange reserve position (August 2016) adequately covers 8.7 months of imports or 8.3 months of imports and servicing of government foreign debt repayments. This is regarded as being well above the international standards of reserves adequacy at three months of imports. This implies that Indonesia's reserves are sufficient to protect the domestic economy against external factors and maintain the sustainability of the Indonesian economy in the foreseeable future.
It was the third straight month of growing foreign exchange reserves in the largest economy of Southeast Asia, and the highest monthly growth so far in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian rupiah has been one of the strongest emerging market currencies so far this year, appreciating around 5 percent against the US dollar, supported by capital inflows into the local stock and bond market (portfolio investments). These inflows managed to stabilize the rupiah and reduce the need for Bank Indonesia to intervene in the money market.
Foreign Exchange Reserve Indonesia 2008 - 2016:
¹ in billion USD dollar at year-end
² per August 2016
Source: Bank Indonesia
Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo recently stated that inflows into Indonesia in the first eight months of the year totaled IDR 162 trillion (approx. USD $12.4 billion), far more than the IDR 43 trillion worth of inflows in the same period one year earlier, reflecting investors' confidence in Indonesia's economic fundamentals. Inflows can grow in the months ahead as Indonesia's tax amnesty program starts to get some momentum. However, a US interest rate hike before the year-end could cause a significant amount of outflows.
Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) depreciated 0.03 percent to IDR 13,090 per US dollar on Thursday (08/09).
Indonesian Rupiah versus US Dollar (JISDOR):| Source: Bank Indonesia