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Today's Headlines Monetary Policy

  • Bank Indonesia's Rate Cut Boosts Optimism for Economic Growth

    Bank Indonesia's Rate Cut Boosts Optimism for Economic Growth

    In the first three monthly policy meetings this year (January-March) the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) cut borrowing costs by a total of 75 basis points. Indonesia's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) was cut from 7.50 percent at the year-start to 6.75 percent at Thursday's Board of Governors' meeting. The overnight deposit facility rate and lending facility rate were also cut by 75 basis points, each, in the first three months. The lower interest rate environment in Indonesia signals that the financial fundamentals are strong. This is partly reason behind strong inflows of foreign capital into Southeast Asia's largest economy.

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  • Lower Net Interest Margin; Indonesian Banks' Shares Plunge

    Lower Net Interest Margin; Indonesian Banks' Shares Plunge

    Shares of Indonesian banks were hit hard on Friday (19/02) after Indonesia's Financial Services Authority (OJK) announced its plan to push state-owned banks net interest margin (NIM) to the range of 3 to 4 percent in a bid to lower the country's lending rates, hence boosting credit growth. NIM is the difference between interest income generated by banks and the amount of interest paid out to the lenders. A higher NIM implies that banks are more profitable. Currently, the average NIM for Indonesia's state-owned banks is between 7 - 8 percent.

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  • Financial Authorities to Cut Indonesia's Lending & Mortgage Rates

    Financial Authorities to Cut Indonesia's Lending & Mortgage Rates

    The Indonesian government, central bank (Bank Indonesia) and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) have formed a team that will study and encourage lower lending and mortgage rates in Indonesia - to single digit levels - by the end of 2016. Indonesia's Chief Economics Minister Darmin Nasution explained that this is part of government efforts to boost economic activity in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Indonesia's lending rates have been high due to banks' prudent management and the high cost of funds, hence limiting credit growth as well as economic growth.

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  • Bank Indonesia Regulation ‘Mandatory Use of Rupiah’ Came into Effect

    Bank Indonesia Regulation ‘Mandatory Use of Rupiah’ Came into Effect

    On 1 July 2015, Bank Indonesia’s BI Regulation No. 17/3/PBI/2015 regarding the Mandatory Use of the Rupiah in Indonesia came into effect. This BI Regulation, signed on 31 March 2015, restricts the use of foreign currencies in transactions conducted in Indonesia with the aim to deepen the domestic rupiah market, stabilize the rupiah (which has been depreciating against the US dollar), and foster economic expansion. A previous law (Law No. 7/2011) allowed for involved contract parties to agree using another currency (than the rupiah) for payments.

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  • Indonesian Gvt to Implement Measures to Combat Current Account Deficit

    Indonesian Gvt to Implement Measures to Combat Current Account Deficit

    After a series of good economic data (particularly US employment) the market expects that the Federal Reserve will raise its key interest rate in the second or third quarter of 2015 thus providing ammunition for bullish US dollar momentum (hovering at an 11-years high). Due to the expected higher yield in the USA, capital is flowing back to the world’s largest economy at the expense of emerging market currencies, including the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate which has depreciated 6 percent against the US dollar this year so far.

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  • IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    Benedict Bingham, Senior Resident Representative for Indonesia at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expects that the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will remain committed to the tighter monetary policy in a bid to safeguard the country’s fiscal fundamentals amid external pressures. Apart from sluggish global economic growth, the looming interest rate hike in the USA (later this year) is expected to rock Indonesia as it will trigger capital outflows from emerging markets.

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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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  • Bank Indonesia’s Monetary Policy Tight until Current Account Balance Improves

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) indicated that it will only loosen its monetary policy provided that the country’s current account deficit narrows to a level of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is considered sustainable, and inflation is kept within the range of 3.5 to 5.5 percent (year-on-year) in line with the central bank’s target range. The current account deficit is one of the main problems being faced by Southeast Asia’s largest economy today and causes concern among foreign and domestic investors.

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  • Government of Indonesia Needs to Revise GDP Growth Target for 2014

    The Indonesian government announced to revise its GDP growth target for 2014 after seeing the disappointing economic growth result in the first quarter of 2014. Last week, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) had announced that GDP growth in Q1-2014 only amounted to 5.21 percent, far below official growth targets as well as analysts' forecasts. Indonesia's slowing growth was caused by slowing exports, brought on by the slow global recovery, China's slowing economy and the temporary impact of the ban on exports of unprocessed minerals.

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  • Asian Development Bank Outlook 2014 'Fiscal Policy for Inclusive Growth'

    According to the Asian Development Bank's latest annual Asian Development Outlook (which provides an analysis of economic performance for the past year and near future), developing Asia is expected to extend its steady growth. The region’s growth is projected to edge up from 6.1 percent in 2013 to 6.2 percent in 2014 and 6.4 percent in 2015. Moderating growth in China (PRC) as its economy adjusts to more balanced growth will offset to some extent the stronger demand expected from the industrial countries as their economies recover.

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