Indonesia’s external debt in February 2014 amounted to USD $272.1 billion, thus having increased 7.4 percent (year-on-year) from the same month a year earlier. Outstanding external debt as of end-February 2014 consisted of public sector debt (USD $129.0 billion) and private sector debt (USD $143.1 billion). The growth pace of Indonesia's external debt in February 2014 was slightly higher than the 7.2 percent (yoy) growth pace recorded in January 2014. These data were taken from Bank Indonesia's website.
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Foreign debt of Indonesia totaled USD $264 billion per December 2013. Based on data from Statistics Indonesia, 46.8 percent of this total debt was accounted for by the public sector, while the remaining 53.2 percent was private sector debt. On a year-on-year (yoy) basis, growth of Indonesia’s total debt slowed to 4.06 percent in the last month of 2013. One year earlier this growth was significantly higher at 12.0 percent. Indonesia’s level of foreign debt is still safe at 30.2 percent of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Indonesia’s foreign debt was recorded at USD $257.30 billion in August 2013, a 0.9 decrease compared to foreign debt in July 2013 (USD $259.61 billion). On an annual basis (yoy), foreign debt growth in August was 6.6 percent, thus slowing compared to July’s growth of 7.4 percent (yoy). The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) considers that the slowing growth in the country's foreign debt is in line with the slowing growth of the domestic economy. Indonesia's GDP growth forecast has been revised down to below the six percent mark.
Indonesian central government debt increased IDR 15.8 trillion (USD $1.6 billion) in the first quarter of 2013 to a total current debt of IDR 1,991.22 trillion (USD $205.3 billion). This total debt consists of loans amounting to IDR 590.2 trillion (USD $60.8 billion) and government securities (Surat Berharga Negara, or SBN) totaling 1,401.1 trillion (USD $144.4 billion). The loans are divided in foreign loans (IDR 588.4 trillion) and domestic loans (IDR 1.8 trillion). The country's debt-to-GDP ratio is currently approximately 24 percent.
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On Friday (17/04) Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) announced that the country’s foreign debt grew 9.4 percent (y/y) to USD $298.9 billion in February 2015, thus slower than the 10.5 percent (y/y) growth rate in the preceding month. Indonesia’s external debt growth slowed as both public and private sectors refrained from taking more debt. Public sector foreign debt grew 4.4 percent (y/y) to USD 134.8 billion, while private sector foreign debt rose 13.8 percent (y/y) to USD $164.1 billion in February.
The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) stated that, besides global volatility caused by uncertainty about the timing of higher US interest rates, the rupiah has been - and remains - under pressure due to Indonesia’s increasing private sector debt and the wide current account deficit. Moreover, as subsidiaries of multinational companies in Indonesia tend to send back dividends to the foreign parent companies in the second quarter (implying rising US dollar demand), the rupiah is plagued by additional pressures up to June.
After the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate temporarily surpassed the psychological boundary of IDR 12,000 per US dollar on Wednesday (18/06), concerns about the fundamentals of the currency emerged. The currency has been under pressure recently due to external factors (monetary policy of the Federal Reserve and geopolitical tensions in Iraq) and domestic factors (large private debt, significant US dollar demand, the wide trade deficit and political uncertainty ahead of the presidential election).
Indonesia’s external debt growth continued to slow in October 2013. Debt grew 5.8 percent (yoy) to USD $262.4 billion compared to 8.6 percent (yoy) growth in the previous month. Slowing growth in external debt occurred both in the public and private sector. Public sector external debt position at the end of October 2013 grew 0.5 percent (yoy) to USD $125.8 billion compared to 2.1 percent (yoy) in September. Meanwhile, private sector external debt grew steadily at 11.1 percent (yoy) to USD $136.6 billion as compared to the previous month.
Although Indonesia’s next presidential election will be held in mid-2014, Aburizal Bakrie already announced in 2012 that he would run for the presidency on behalf of the Golkar party, one of the leading political parties of Indonesia and once the strong political vehicle of Suharto during the New Order regime (1965-1998). However, Bakrie, chairman of Golkar and often referred to by his nickname 'Ical', is one of the most controversial figures in modern Indonesian politics and business.
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