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Today's Headlines Agus Martowardojo

  • Bank Indonesia Cuts 2015 Inflation Projection to 3.6%

    Bank Indonesia Cuts 2015 Inflation Projection to 3.6%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects to see a sharp slowdown in inflation in the last couple of months of 2015. Currently, the annual inflation pace stands at 6.83 percent (y/y). However, by the year-end Bank Indonesia estimates the consumer price index to have eased to 3.6 percent (y/y), which would be in the lower range of its 2015 inflation target (3-5 percent y/y). This update was given by Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo when meeting the Financial Sector Stability Coordination Forum (FKSSK).

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  • Bank Indonesia: Still 320 Companies to Comply with Hedging Rules

    Bank Indonesia: Still 320 Companies to Comply with Hedging Rules

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia), said there are still 320 local companies that have not complied with the central banks' hedging requirements regarding foreign loans. A Bank Indonesia study conducted in late-2014 showed that the country’s private sector foreign debt is vulnerable to several risks i.e. currency risks, liquidity risks and overleverage risks due to unhedged loans.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects Inflation to Ease below 7% y/y in September 2015

    Bank Indonesia Expects Inflation to Ease below 7% y/y in September 2015

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) estimates that inflation will ease below seven percent year-on-year (y/y) in September 2015 on the back of lower prices of raw foods and lower administered prices (including fuel and electricity) in the post the Ramadan and Idul Fitri period. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said the central bank expects inflation at around 6.95 percent (y/y) in September.

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  • Indonesian Currency Update: Rupiah Weaker ahead of Federal Reserve Meeting

    Indonesian Currency Update: Rupiah Weaker ahead of Federal Reserve Meeting

    Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the two-day policy meeting which starts today (16/09), the US dollar continues to appreciate against most currencies, including the Indonesian rupiah, as investors remain cautious ahead of a possible US interest rate hike. By 09:36 am local Jakarta time, the rupiah had depreciated 0.29 percent to IDR 14,450 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, a fresh 17-year low.

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  • Central Bank: Economy of Indonesia Expected to Grow 4.89% in 2015

    Central Bank: Economy of Indonesia Expected to Grow 4.89% in 2015

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia), said on Thursday (27/08) that the nation’s economic growth pace is expected to reach 4.89 percent (y/y) in full-year 2015, down from 5.0 percent (y/y) in the preceding year and it would mark the fifth straight year of economic slowing. Earlier this week, Bank Indonesia had already revised down its economic growth forecast to the range of 4.7 - 5.1 percent (y/y) in 2015 (from 5.0 - 5.4 percent previously).

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  • Indonesia’s Rupiah Weakens beyond Psychological Level of IDR 14,000/USD

    Indonesia’s Rupiah Weakens beyond Psychological Level of IDR 14,000 per USD

    For the first time since July 1998, when Indonesia was still plagued by the Asian Financial Crisis, the rupiah has fallen beyond the IDR 14,000 per US dollar mark. Many analysts had already predicted over the past couple of months that Indonesia’s currency would weaken beyond this ‘psychological’ level as external pressures are simply too high. Since 2013 the rupiah has weakening (against the US dollar) as the US Federal Reserve started preparing for monetary tightening. The recent devaluation of China’s yuan added more pressure.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Interest Rates Unchanged on Global Uncertainty

    Bank Indonesia Keeps Interest Rates Unchanged on Global Uncertainty

    For the sixth straight month, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) left its interest rate regime unchanged at Tuesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting (18/08) as it aims to guard the rupiah against severe volatility (which occurred after China’s yuan was allowed to devalue, while markets are still preparing for monetary tightening in the USA) and tries to combat inflation.

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  • No Independence Day for the Indonesian Rupiah: Foreign Pressures Persist

    No Independence Day for the Indonesian Rupiah: Pressures Persist

    Although influence of the devaluation of China’s yuan has eased, the Indonesian rupiah remains under pressure as investors are waiting for results of Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governor’s meeting (to be held later today), low oil (and other commodity) prices, while the US dollar appreciates against most other currencies amid mixed US macroeconomic data. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had depreciated 0.12 percent to IDR 13,838 per US dollar by 10:30 am local Jakarta time on Tuesday (18/08).

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  • Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Impact of China’s Yuan

    Stock Market & Rupiah Update Indonesia: Impact of China’s Yuan

    Today (14/08) the central bank of China let the yuan appreciate 0.05 percent against the US dollar, effectively ending three consecutive days of devaluation. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) also pledged to safeguard a stable yuan after the sharp devaluation had triggered significant volatility on international financial markets. For example, Indonesian assets (stocks and the rupiah) tumbled severely on Tuesday and Wednesday amid yuan devaluation (and looming higher interest rates in the USA).

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  • China’s Yuan Devaluation: Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Rebound

    China’s Yuan Devaluation: Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Rebound

    For the third straight day China allowed its currency to weaken against the US dollar. On Thursday (13/08) the yuan depreciated 0.7 percent against the greenback, signalling that China’s central bank may let the yuan weaken further in a controlled manner. Yesterday, just before trading closed, it actually intervened to support the currency as the yuan depreciated nearly two percent (the daily limit). The move of China to devalue the yuan is a step toward liberalization and also boosts the country’s sluggish export performance.

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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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