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Today's Headlines Agus Martowardojo

  • Inflation in Indonesia: Rising Pressures Due to La Nina?

    Inflation in Indonesia: Rising Pressures Due to La Nina?

    Inflation is under control in Indonesia. Based on the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesian inflation eased to 3.60 percent (y/y) in April 2016, well within the target range of the nation's central bank and central government. However, inflationary pressures in Southeast Asia's largest economy may rise in the second half of the year because there is a big chance that the El Nino weather phenomenon is to be followed by the La Nina weather phenomenon. Both weather phenomenons impact heavily on Indonesia's agricultural output.

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  • Bank Indonesia Positive about Banking Sector in 2016, Fitch Doubts

    Bank Indonesia Positive about Banking Sector in 2016, Fitch Doubts

    The banking sector of Indonesia is expected to rebound in 2016 due to the lower primary reserve requirement ratio for rupiah deposits (6.5 percent), lower cost of funds as well as operational costs, rising credit volume (due to the lower interest rate environment) and improving purchasing power. The banking sector is also expected to feel the positive impact of the stimulus packages unveiled by the Indonesian government aimed at strengthening domestic businesses and improve the investment climate. And lastly, banks are to benefit from the government's push for infrastructure development.

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  • Indonesia's Rupiah Outperforming Global Currencies, Risks Remain

    The Indonesian rupiah has become the center of attention being the strongest emerging market currency (tracked by Bloomberg) so far this year. Indonesia's currency has appreciated 4.97 percent (spot market) against the US dollar since the start of 2016, outperforming the Brazilian real and Malaysian ringgit. Meanwhile, Indonesian government and central bank officials say they are committed to encourage further strengthening of the rupiah. On Friday (04/03), Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, abbreviated JISDOR) appreciated 0.76 percent to IDR 13,159 per US dollar.

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  • Rupiah Indonesia Update: Longest Winning Streak since 2010. Why?

    Rupiah Indonesia Update: Longest Winning Streak since 2010. Why?

    In line with the overall trend in Asia, the Indonesian rupiah continued to appreciate against the US dollar on Wednesday (02/03). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index the rupiah strengthened 0.34 percent to IDR 13,301 per US dollar, touching a four and a halve-month high and recording its longest winning streak since 2010. Over the past ten trading days the rupiah has been appreciating against the greenback. What made the Indonesian rupiah strengthen today?

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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: Spike in Food Commodity Prices, Inflation Rising

    Bank Indonesia: Spike in Food Commodity Prices, Inflation Rising

    Indonesia's inflation is expected to accelerate in January 2016 according to the country's central bank (Bank Indonesia). Bank Indonesia detected a spike in prices of several food commodities - such as shallots, chili, and beef - at the start of the year. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo told reporters that he expects the country's inflation rate to rise by around 0.75 percent month-on-month (m/m) in January. This would imply that inflation will accelerate to 4.38 percent on an annual basis (from 3.35 percent y/y in December 2015).

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  • Asian Development Bank Cuts Forecast for Economic Growth Indonesia

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) lowered its forecast for economic growth in Indonesia to 4.8 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2015 and to 5.3 percent (y/y) in 2016 from previously 4.9 percent (y/y) and 5.4 percent (y/y), respectively. In its latest report on Indonesia, the ADB cited that problems related to budget disbursement and the nation’s weak export performance were the main factors to cut its growth projection for Indonesia - for both 2015 and 2016 - by 0.1 percentage point. In September 2015, the ADB had already cut its growth forecast for Indonesia on the back of negative effects of China’s economic slowdown.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects GDP Growth at Lower End of Target Range in 2015

    Bank Indonesia Expects GDP Growth at Lower End of Target Range in 2015

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects the country's economic growth to come in the lower end of its 4.7-5.1 percent (y/y) gross domestic product (GDP) growth target range for full-year 2015. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo expects to see accelerated economic growth in the last quarter of the year (from the preceding quarter) due to increased government spending and investment. In the second quarter of 2015, Indonesia's economy expanded at the slowest pace in six years (+4.67 percent y/y), then accelerating to 4.73 percent (y/y) in the following quarter.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in November Policy Meeting

    Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in November Policy Meeting

    Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo announced during a press conference that the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent during the Board of Governor's Meeting on 17 November 2015. Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia maintained the deposit facility rate and the lending facility rate at 5.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively. The current interest rate environment is considered sufficient to face persistent global uncertainties caused by the looming Fed Fund Rate hike and sluggish economic growth in the Eurozone and China.

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  • Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: China and Fed in Spotlight

    Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: China and Fed in Spotlight

    Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index climbed 0.01 percent to 4,451.59 points on Wednesday (11/11) despite foreign investors recording a net sell of IDR 614.4 billion (approx. USD $45.5 million). Uncertainty persists in the global economy as more macroeconomic data from China signal weaknesses in the world's second-largest economy. Growth in output from China's factories declined to a six-month low in October (missing expectations), following earlier disappointing trade and inflation data. On the other hand, it triggers hope that Beijing will step up stimulus measures.

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Latest Columns Agus Martowardojo

  • Current Account Indonesia in Check, Worry about Import and Capital & Financial Account

    Current Account Indonesia in Check, Worry about Import and Capital & Financial Account

    Indonesia's current account deficit eased to USD $4.01 billion, or 1.86 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), in the third quarter of 2015. The central bank (Bank Indonesia) said this improvement is particularly caused by a stronger non-oil & gas trade balance. However, Indonesia's capital and financial account surplus declined to USD $1.2 billion, causing the balance of payments deficit to widen to USD $4.6 billion from USD $2.9 billion in the preceding quarter.

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  • Inflation Update Indonesia: Mounting Seasonal Pressures in June

    Inflation Update Indonesia: Mounting Seasonal Pressures in June

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) predicts mounting inflationary pressures in the months June and July due to the Ramadan and Idul Fitri festivities, the possible impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon, and the new school year. Bank Indonesia expects to see inflation at 0.66 percent month-to-month (m/m) in June 2015, particularly driven by volatile food prices (a normal phenomenon ahead of Idul Fitri). On a year-on-year (y/y) basis, Indonesian inflation is expected to accelerate to 7.40 percent, from 7.15 percent in May.

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  • Buying a House in Indonesia Made Easier as BI Supports Economic Growth

    Buying a House in Indonesia Made Easier as BI Supports Economic Growth

    Soon it will be made easier to buy property in Indonesia as the country’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) plans to ease down payment (DP) requirements for mortgages. Today (22/05), Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo told reporters that the DP obligation for first-home buyers will be lowered from 30 percent to 20 percent of the property’s value. This relaxation should have a positive effect on the performance of Indonesia’s financial institutions and property developers as demand for loans and property is assumed to grow.

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  • Foreign Debt Growth Indonesia Slows, What about the Interest Rate?

    Foreign Debt Growth Indonesia Slows, What about the Interest Rate?

    Bank Indonesia announced today that the country’s total foreign debt rose 7.6 percent (y/y) to USD $298.1 billion in the first quarter of 2015. This figure means that the pace of the country’s foreign debt growth has slowed from the 10.2 percentage point growth (y/y) that was recorded in the preceding quarter. Both public and private sector foreign debt growth slowed as both sectors are more careful to take up loans amid a weakening rupiah while export revenues decline amid sluggish global (and domestic) economic growth.

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  • Inflation Update Indonesia: "April Inflation Higher than Usual"

    Inflation Update Indonesia: April Inflation Higher than Usual

    Inflation in Indonesia is expected to accelerate to 6.80 percent year-on-year (y/y) in April 2015, from 6.38 percent y/y in the previous month, according to the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia). As global oil prices have somewhat recovered from their recent lows, they add inflationary pressures in Indonesia (higher transportation costs). On a month-on-month (m/m) basis, Indonesian inflation is expected to be around 0.35 percent in April. This figure would be in sharp contrast to ‘normal’ April inflation.

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  • Pressures on Indonesia’s Rupiah to Continue in the First Half of 2015

    Pressures on Indonesia’s Rupiah to Continue in the First Half of 2015

    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.

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  • Analysis Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate continued to depreciate on Monday (02/03). According to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s currency depreciated 0.30 percent to IDR 12,970 per US dollar, a six-year low. Apart from general bullish US dollar momentum in recent months (amid monetary tightening in the USA), the rupiah weakened due to Bank Indonesia’s signals that it tolerates a weaker currency in a move to boost exports (limiting the country’s current account deficit), and due to China’s interest rates cut.

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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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  • Current Account Balance Indonesia: Deficit of 3.07% of GDP in Q3-2014

    Current Account Balance Indonesia: Deficit of 3.07% of GDP in Q3-2014

    The current account deficit of Indonesia eased to USD $6.84 billion, or 3.07 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2014 (down from USD $8.69 billion, or 4.07 percent of GDP in the previous quarter). This improvement was mainly supported by a solid surplus in the country’s non-oil & gas sector, partly the result of the US economic recovery as well as resumed copper concentrate exports by Freeport Indonesia and Newmont Nusa Tenggara (after successful mining contract renegotiations).

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  • Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    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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