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Today's Headlines Bank Indonesia

  • Bank Indonesia’s Governor Supports Higher Subsidized Fuel Prices

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Bank Indonesia, is highly supportive of president-elect Joko Widodo’s plan to increase prices of subsidized fuels before the end of the year as this move would help to diminish the country’s structural current account deficit as well as improve the trade balance. Widodo, who will assume office on 20 October 2014, is expected to raise prices of subsidized fuels by between IDR 1,000 and 3,000 per liter, and relocate state funds to social and economic development.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Foreign Exchange Reserves Unchanged in September

    The official foreign exchange reserve assets of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) at end September 2014 were unchanged (from the preceding month) at USD $111.2 billion. Based on a Bank Indonesia statement, the reserves were under pressure due to an increase in foreign exchange demand (for government foreign debt payments and foreign exchange intervention in order to stabilize the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate), but supported by a global Islamic bonds issuance, oil & gas export revenue and growth of bank forex deposits.

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  • Consumer Confidence in Indonesia Falls Slightly in September

    A survey of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) shows that Indonesian consumer confidence declined slightly to 119.8 points in September 2014 (from 120.2 points in the previous month) on concerns that price increases will limit people’s purchasing power. These concerns are triggered by president-elect Joko Widodo’s plans to raise prices of subsidized fuels before the year-end in an effort to safeguard the country’s financial fundamentals. Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) will be inaugurated on 20 October 2014.

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  • Economic Update Indonesia: Inflation, Trade Balance & Manufacturing Activity

    Statistics Indonesia (BPS) released various economic data today (01/10) - including inflation, the trade balance and manufacturing activity - that give a good indication about the state of the Indonesian economy. Although not all data was positive, market participants were content, evidenced by an appreciating rupiah exchange rate and rising Indonesian stocks. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah appreciated 0.43 percent to IDR 12,135 per US dollar, while the Jakarta Composite Index climbed 0.06 percent on Tuesday (01/10).

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  • Higher Interest Rates in 2015 Could Further Limit GDP Growth of Indonesia

    The economy of Indonesia, which has been slowing since 2011, will have difficulty to rebound in 2015 as the central bank’s key interest rate (BI rate) is expected to be raised again to avert capital outflows brought on by higher interest rates in the US and to combat accelerated inflation after domestic subsidized fuel prices have been raised by the new government led by president-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi). After a GDP growth pace of 6.5 percent (y/y) in 2011, economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy fell to 5.8 percent (y/y) in 2013.

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  • Indonesian Banks’ Non-Performing Loans Rising Sharply in Four Sectors

    Although Deputy Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia), Halim Alamsyah, said that the non-performing loan (NPL) level in Indonesia’s banking sector is currently safe at 2.24 percent (well below the five percent threshold which is considered safe), the institution has been monitoring the high level of NPLs in four sectors: construction, trade, mining and social services. The bank will study why the ratio has been growing - whether it is a temporary phenomenon or not - and search the correct policy approach to address this issue.

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  • Bank Indonesia’s Dilemma: Reducing or Maintaining the BI Rate at 7.50%?

    There are mixed opinions about the interest rate policy of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia). Tomorrow (11/09), at the Board of Governor’s Meeting, the central bank will decide whether or not to change the country’s interest rates. Indonesia’s benchmark interest rate (BI rate) has been held at 7.50 percent for ten consecutive months. This relatively high figure managed to ease high inflation (which emerged after prices of subsidized fuel prices were raised in June 2013). However, it also further slowed economic growth.

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  • Bank Indonesia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Rise slightly in August 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced that the foreign exchange reserves of Indonesia climbed slightly in August 2014. At the end of that month, the assets stood at USD $111.2 billion, up from USD $110.5 billion at the end of the previous month, fueled by strong oil and gas export revenue. These reserve assets can now adequately cover 6.5 months of imports or 6.3 months of imports and servicing of government external debt repayment, well above the international standards of reserves adequacy at three months of imports.

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  • Revising Regulations to Enhance Indonesia’s Foreign Exchange Trading

    Nanang Hendarsah, Deputy of Bank Indonesia’s financial task force, said that the central bank of Indonesia will issue two new regulations this week in an attempt to boost foreign exchange (FX) transactions in Indonesia by simplifying the bank’s previous regulations issued in 2005 and 2008 (PBI No. 10/28 on FX purchase at banks and PBI No. 10/37 on netting restrictions). Recent data from Bank Indonesia show that the amount of FX transactions in Indonesia has been lower compared to those recorded by its regional peers.

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  • Inflation in Indonesia: Easing Inflation Trend Continues in August 2014

    The latest Bank Indonesia survey on the topic of inflation suggests that Indonesia’s inflation pace in August 2014 is still relatively safe. Based on the survey, which monitored inflation in Southeast Asia’s largest economy up to the third week of the month and which usually forms a good indicator for the inflation figure at the month-end, Indonesian inflation in August will be lower than the 0.93 percentage point (month-to-month) of inflation recorded in the previous month. Inflation in Indonesia always shows a peak around in the period June to August.

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Latest Columns Bank Indonesia

  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Rebounds from Six-Year Low

    Contrary to the previous trading day, most emerging Asian currencies strengthened against the US dollar on Tuesday (09/12) supported by the yen’s advance as falling oil prices dented risk appetite. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s rupiah appreciated 0.47 percent to IDR 12,331 per US dollar today. Despite local firms’ increased US dollar demand to settle debt before the year-end, market participants were happy to learn that Indonesia’s central bank is active in the foreign exchange market to guard the currency.

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  • Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Bad Start of the Week

    Despite positive stock indices in the USA and Europe at the end of last week as well as mostly positive indices in Asia today (08/12), the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) fell due to investors’ appetite for profit taking. Several matters made investors decide to sell their Indonesia shares, including the World Bank’s downward revision of Indonesia’s economic growth in 2015, Japan’s recession, weakening Chinese exports, and the sharply depreciating rupiah exchange rate.

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  • Bank Indonesia about Inflation and the Current Account Deficit

    The central bank of Indonesia expects that Indonesia’s current account deficit will decline to below the three percent of gross domestic product (GDP) mark by the end of this year supported by sharply falling global oil prices and Indonesia’s recent subsidized fuel price hike. Hendar, Deputy Governor of the central bank, said that for every USD $1 decline in global oil prices, the country’s current account deficit narrows by about USD $170 million. Indonesia’s current account deficit fell to 3.1 percent of GDP in Q3-2014 (from 4.06 percent of GDP in Q2-2014).

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  • Macroeconomic Stability Indonesia: Inflation and GDP Update

    The Governor of Indonesia’s central bank, Agus Martowardojo, said that he expects inflation to accelerate to 6.1 percent year-on-year (y/y) in November 2014, significantly up from 4.83 percent y/y in the previous month. Accelerated inflation is caused by the multiplier effect triggered by the recent subsidized fuel price hike in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. On 18 November 2014, the government introduced higher prices for subsidized fuels in a bid to reallocate public spending from fuel consumption to structural development.

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  • Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Active in Market?

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.09 percent to IDR 12,164 per US dollar on Tuesday (25/11) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The performance is caused by local companies’ month-end US dollar demand as well as US dollar buying by Indonesia’s central bank. Although unconfirmed, it is speculated that the central bank is boosting its foreign exchange reserves ahead of a looming external shock triggered by higher US interest rates in the second or third quarter of 2015.

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  • Financial Update: Foreign Debt of Indonesia Continues to Rise

    Total foreign outstanding debt of Indonesia continues to grow at a robust pace. Based on data from the country’s central bank, total external debt rose 11.2 percent year-on-year to USD $292 billion at the end of September 2014 as private Indonesian companies have been eager to seek lower interest rates abroad. Privately-held foreign debt was up 14 percent y/y to USD $159.3 billion at end-September. Central Bank official Tirta Segara said that private sector debt is concentrated in the financial, manufacturing and mining sectors.

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  • Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Non-bank corporations in Indonesia that hold external (foreign-denominated) debt will be forced to hedge their foreign exchange holdings against the Indonesian rupiah with a ratio of 20 percent in the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 in an effort to limit risks stemming from increased private sector external debt. At end-August 2014, privately-held foreign debt stood at USD $156.2 billion (53.8 percent of the country’s total external debt), increasing three-fold from end-2005 and thus jeopardizing macroeconomic stability.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Improved in 3rd Quarter 2014

    The wide current account deficit of Indonesia is expected to have eased in the third quarter of 2014. According to information from the country’s central bank, the current account deficit narrowed to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Q3-2014 from 4.27 percent of GDP in the previous quarter. A deficit below the level of 3 percent of GDP is generally regarded as a sustainable level. The improvement in Q3-2014 is mainly due to resumed mineral exports after the government and several miners managed to finalize renegotiations.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: Key Interest Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia decided to hold the key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent in October, with the Lending Facility and Deposit Facility rates kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. This level is expected to help control inflation at 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4.0±1 percent in 2015, as well as to reduce the current account deficit to a more sustainable level. Despite stable domestic conditions, Bank Indonesia sees risks: contagion risk stemming from US monetary tightening and possible higher subsidized fuel prices.

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  • Rupiah Update Indonesia: Central Bank Ready to Intervene

    Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said that although the recent weakening trend of the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate is in line with the performance of other Asian currencies, the central bank is prepared to intervene in the market in an effort to support the currency and keep it in a comfortable range. On Monday (06/10), Bank Indonesia Executive Director Tirta Segara already stated that foreign exchange intervention was conducted in September 2014 in order to stabilize the rupiah exchange rate.

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