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Today's Headlines BI Rate

  • Lower Oil Imports in Q3-2013 will Support Indonesia's Weakening Rupiah

    The Indonesian government assumes that the recently increased prices of subsidized fuels will translate into lower oil imports from the third quarter of 2013. Lower oil imports will result in lower demand for foreign currencies and, as such, will support Indonesia's currency, the rupiah. The value of the IDR rupiah is also influenced by market participants' expectation of inflation. Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) projects inflation to rise to 2.77 percent in July, and to slow down to 1 percent in both August and September.

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  • Indonesian Banks Post Good Financial Results in Semester I-2013

    Despite a higher benchmark interest rate, higher inflation, a weakening rupiah, and global economic turmoil, four out of seven Indonesian banks that released their financial results over the first half of 2013, have posted double-digit growth. The seven banks show a combined growth of 16.2 percent. Although it is an impressive figure, it is a couple of percentage points lower than last year's performance. Indonesia's economy has slowed down to an annual economic growth of six percent and this has impacted on domestic demand for credit loans.

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  • Indonesian Government: No Need for Panic over Weakening Rupiah

    Although Indonesia's currency, the IDR rupiah, has continued its weakening trend, Indonesian authorities are reassuring the people that this development is not as much caused by domestic factors but rather due to the rising US dollar against other currencies. According to data from Bank Indonesia, the Indonesian rupiah has weakened 5.99 percent to the US dollar in 2013. It is also clear that the central bank of Indonesia has decided to let the rupiah depreciate gradually instead of using its foreign exchange reserves to support the currency.

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  • Weakening of Indonesian Rupiah Against US Dollar is Part of Global Trend

    According to various analysts and the central bank of Indonesia, the weakening of the IDR rupiah should not be too alarming as there currently is a global trend in which currencies, worldwide, weaken against the US Dollar. This situation is triggered by the economic recovery that has been experienced by the world's largest economy recently. Compared to other ASEAN members, the rupiah's decline is normal. The central bank adds that foreign capital inflows will return and will strengthen the country's currency.

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  • Inflationary Pressure due to Indonesia's Higher Food Prices during Ramadan

    Prices of certain food products in Indonesia have risen steeply during the first week of Ramadan, the Islamic fasting month. Higher prices are a sensitive issue at the moment as the country is fighting higher inflation after subsidized fuel prices were increased in June. Therefore, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps to 6.50 percent last week. If inflation exceeds 2.3 percent in July (month to month) then it might result in another upward revision of the interest rate, thus slowing down Indonesia's economic growth.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 6.50%

    The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia, has raised its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) and deposit facility rate (Fasbi) by 50 bps to 6.50 percent and 4.75 percent respectively. Bank Indonesia governor Agus Martowardojo said that this policy change is necessary to keep Indonesia's inflation figure within the target range. Last month, prices of subsidized fuels were raised by the government, which led to higher inflation in June (5.90% YoY). However, the impact of higher fuel prices is expected to make a deeper impact in July.

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  • Indonesian Motorcycle Sales Strong, but may Slow down in Second Half 2013

    Motorcycle sales in Indonesia rose 20 percent (year-on-year) to 661,282 units in June 2013. The head of the commercial department of the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI), Sigit Kumala, said that sales peak in June and July because of the Lebaran tradition that follows the holy fasting month (which starts tomorrow). After this fasting month, many Indonesians go back to their places of birth for a couple of days. Motorcycles are one of the modes of transportation used for this short holiday.

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  • Bank Indonesia Raises its Interest Rate to 6.0% to Support the Rupiah

    Bank Indonesia - BI - Interest Rate Increase 6% - Indonesia Investments

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided today to raise its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.0 percent. The decision was made amid concerns about the inflationary impact of a hike in subsidized fuel prices (planned this June) as well as increasing uncertainty in global financial markets as central banks' may scale back stimulus programs. The Indonesian rupiah has weakened considerably in 2013 and forms the worst performer in Asia after the Japanese yen among the 11 most-traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

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  • Statistics Indonesia: Indonesia Records Deflation of 0.03 Percent in May

    According to data released by Statistics Indonesia (Badan Pusat Statistik, abbreviated BPS), a non-departmental government institution, Indonesia's inflation figure eased 0.03 percent (month-to-month) in May 2013. The Head of BPS, Suryamin, said that it was the first time since ten years that the country experienced deflation in the month of May. The deflation figure is particularly triggered by the government's policy to allow for more imports of certain food products (such as onions, garlic, tomatoes, and chili).

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  • Bank Indonesia Revises Down GDP Growth, Interest Rate Kept at 5.75%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia, or BI) kept its benchmark interest rate at 5.75 percent and its overnight deposit facility rate (FASBI) at four percent as the country's core inflation figure is still within the target range of the central bank (3.5-5.5 percent). Core inflation currently stands at 4.12 percent (YoY). However, as the price of subsidized fuel is expected to rise in June, inflation may increase and could trigger a policy response by Bank Indonesia later this year.

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Latest Columns BI Rate

  • What are Joko Widodo's Economic & Social Development Targets?

    Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo introduced higher subsidized fuel prices in Southeast Asia’s largest economy in a bid to shift generous public spending from fuel consumption to productive and structural economic and social development. Prices of subsidized low-octane gasoline (premium) and diesel (solar) were raised by over 30 percent, or IDR 2,000 (USD $0.17) per liter, starting from 00:00 on Tuesday (18/11). Widodo aims to reallocate these funds to infrastructure, social welfare and the maritime sector.

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  • Finance Minister Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s Economic Fundamentals

    Finance Minister Chatib Basri on Indonesia’s Economic Fundamentals

    Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri said that the lower pace of economic growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy, is a major concern for Indonesia as it leads to declining demand for commodities (and thus places downward pressure on commodity prices). As Indonesia is a major commodity exporter - such as coal, crude palm oil, nickel ore and tin - the country feels the impact of weak global demand for commodities. About 60 percent of Indonesia’s exports are commodities, mostly raw ones.

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

    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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  • Update Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks: Stronger on Economic Data

    Although Indonesia’s September 2014 inflation (0.27 percent m/m) and appreciating rupiah exchange rate had a positive impact on the performance of Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) on Wednesday (01/10), its gain was limited by declining indices on Wall Street on the previous day as well as Indonesia’s August trade deficit (USD $318.1 million), which resulted in foreign net selling of worth IDR 388 billion of Indonesian stocks. The IHSG climbed 0.06 percent to 5,140.91 points.

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will not lower its key interest rate (BI rate) until accelerated inflation (brought on by the looming subsidized fuel price hike at the end of the year) has eased and US interest rates are stable (the US Federal Reserve may raise its key interest rate in the second or third quarter of 2015). This implies that the relatively high interest rate environment in Indonesia (the key BI rate has been at 7.50 percent for almost a year) will continue (to safeguard financial stability) at the expense of higher economic growth.

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  • Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Performance of Indonesian Stocks Depends on Subsidized Fuel Policy

    Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy is estimated to have a large influence on investors’ confidence in the financial or fiscal fundamentals of Southeast Asia’s largest economy and thus on the performance of the local stock index and currency. New president elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is expected to raise prices of subsidized fuels after taking office in late October 2014 in an attempt to combat the country’s wide current account deficit (mainly caused by expensive oil imports to meet domestic fuel demand).

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  • Update Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Performance

    Update Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Performance

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.54 percent to IDR 11,822 per US dollar in the past week (based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index). Several internal and external factors influenced the currency’s performance over the past week, such as increased US dollar demand from local Indonesian companies, Bank Indonesia’s decision to leave the BI rate unchanged and the improving US economy. Lastly, the structural current account deficit (triggered by expensive oil imports) remains a problem for investors.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in September 2014

    Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in September 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) kept its key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent for the tenth consecutive month as inflation is under control and well within the year-end target of the central bank (3.5-5.5 percent). The lending facility and deposit facility were kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively, at Thursday’s Board of Governor’s Meeting (11/09). The central bank also expects that the current interest rate environment is capable of curbing the country’s wide current account deficit.

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  • Economy of Indonesia Expected to Grow 5.2 to 5.3% only in 2014

    Economy of Indonesia Expected to Grow 5.2-5.3% only in 2014

    The Indonesian government admits that it is difficult to achieve the 5.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target that was set in the Revised 2014 State Budget (APBN-P 2014). In fact, Deputy Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro stated that Southeast Asia’s largest economy will have to work hard to reach +5.3 percentage point GDP growth this year. “We have to be realistic. Hopefully GDP growth will improve in the second half of 2014 to a level of 5.3 percent. The current forecast for GDP growth in 2014 is 5.2-5.3 percent,” he said.

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  • Current Account Deficit Indonesia at 4.27% of GDP; BI Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Current Account Deficit Indonesia at 4.27% of GDP; BI Rate Kept at 7.50%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced two important matters on Thursday (14/08). Firstly, the institution decided to maintain the benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the overnight deposit facility rate (Fasbi) at 5.75 percent, and the lending facility rate at 7.50 percent. Secondly, it announced that Indonesia’s current account deficit widened to USD $9.1 billion, or, 4.27 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2014, a widening that is larger than initially forecast.

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