The government of Indonesia has expressed its concern about rising foreign debt. Indonesian President Joko Widodo summoned Chief Economics Minister Darmin Nasution for a meeting to express his concern about the issue. In particular the high degree of foreign ownership of Indonesian securities needs attention as foreign ownership of government bonds has reached a new record high. Therefore, analysts say Indonesia needs to optimize government revenue (for example by reforming the nation's tax system) rather than depend on loans and bonds.
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Indonesia's foreign exchange (forex) reserves totalled USD $97.0 billion at the end of October 2013, up USD $1.3 billion from the previous month (USD $95.7 billion). Consequently, the current level of foreign exchange reserves is equivalent to 5.5 months of imports and the government’s foreign debt payment. Bank Indonesia considers the current stockpile of forex reserves adequate to bolster external sector resilience and is above international adequacy standards.
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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In the first two weeks of February 2018 foreign investors aggressively sold rupiah-denominated government bonds (in Indonesian: Surat Berharga Negara, or SBN) in the secondary market. Up to 14 February 2018, foreign investors sold IDR 18.69 trillion (approx. USD $1.4 billion) worth of government bonds in February.
Investors all around the world are in anticipation of the Federal Reserve's decision to scale back the monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3). If indeed scaled back, then another important question remains: how much will the bond-buying program be toned down? Today (18/09), is the last day of the Fed's FOMC meeting in which these decisions are made. The market expects no drastic end to the program, instead a gradual toning down (between USD $10 to $20 billion) is anticipated.
After several years of significant foreign capital inflows into Indonesia, a sharp contrast has been visible in recent weeks. Global panic that followed in the days after Ben Bernanke announced that the Federal Reserve intends to withdraw its quantitative easing program in 2014 (if economic recovery of the USA continues), hit Indonesia hard. It triggered a massive capital outflow from the country's stock exchange (IDX) as well as from government securities (Surat Berharga Negara, or SBN).
It is official. As of Saturday 22 June 2013, after months of uncertainty and speculation, the price of Indonesia's subsidized fuel has finally been raised. Starting from 0.00 am (midnight) on Saturday, all Indonesians have to pay a higher price of gasoline and diesel. Gasoline has been raised by 44 percent to IDR 6,500 (USD $0.66) and diesel by 22 percent to IDR 5,500 (USD $0.56) per liter. The minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jero Wacik, made the announcement on late Friday evening, after which the hike took effect immediately.
The government of Indonesia plans to issue global sukuk (the Islamic equivalent of bonds) and retail bonds (Obligasi Ritel Indonesia, abbreviated ORI) in October 2013. Proceeds from the bond issuances will be used to finance the budget deficit, which is targeted at 2.48 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2013 Revised State Budget (APBN-P). This percentage figure is equivalent to IDR 233.7 trillion (USD $23.82 billion), and represents a robust increase compared to the deficit in 2012 (at 1.77 percent of GDP).
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