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Today's Headlines Agus Martowardojo

  • Bank Indonesia Expects USD $600 Million Trade Surplus in April 2014

    The Governor of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, expects that the country’s trade balance will post a surplus of around USD $600 million in April 2014, roughly similar to the surplus that was recorded one month earlier (USD $673 million). The April 2014 surplus would be supported by an improvement in non-oil & gas exports, stable commodity prices (particularly coal and crude palm oil/CPO), as well as the waning influence of the Minerba Act.

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  • Bank Indonesia Releases the '2013 Economic Report on Indonesia'

    Bank Indonesia Releases the '2013 Economic Report on Indonesia'

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) released its '2013 Economic Report on Indonesia' earlier this week. This report discusses in great detail both global and domestic economic dynamics as well as policy responses. The year 2013 was a year full of challenges for the Indonesian economy because of changes in global economic conditions (US Federal Reserve tapering), requiring a range of structural policy changes to steer the economy of Indonesia towards a more balanced growth and restored macroeconomic stability.

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  • Sharp Indonesian Rupiah Depreciation on China Manufacturing Data

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate continued its recent weakening trend on Wednesday (23/04). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia's currency had depreciated 1.12 percent to IDR 11,650 per US dollar at 12:45 local Jakarta time, its weakest level in two months. Reasons for this poor performance are weak Chinese manufacturing data, renewed concerns about Indonesia's wide current account deficit and ongoing political uncertainty after the fragmented outcome of Indonesia's 2014 parliamentary election.

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  • Bank Indonesia Optimistic on Posting Trade Surplus in February 2014

    Bank Indonesia Optimistic about Recording Trade Surplus in February 2014

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects a trade surplus of around USD $700 million in February 2014. If Martowardojo's forecast is realized, it would be a sharp contrast to the USD $430.6 million trade deficit that was recorded one month earlier. In January, the trade deficit was mainly due to declining exports of coal and vegetable oil (which together account for 26.7 percent of total non-oil & gas exports), among others, due to ongoing annual contractual negotiations at the year-start.

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  • January's Slowing Credit Growth in Line with Bank Indonesia's Directive

    January's Slowing Credit Growth in Line with Bank Indonesia's Directive

    Credit growth in Indonesia's banking sector slowed in January 2014 to a growth pace of 20.9 percent (year-on-year), down from 21.4 percent (yoy) in the previous month. Total disbursed credit in January 2014 stood at IDR 3,287 trillion (USD 285 billion). The slowing pace of credit disbursement in Southeast Asia's largest economy is in accordance with the central bank's target to reduce credit growth in the banking sector to between 15 and 17 percent (yoy), said Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Bank Indonesia.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves at USD $102.74 Billion in February 2014

    As had been confirmed by Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Bank Indonesia, earlier this week, Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves rose 2.1 percent to USD $102.74 billion at the end of February 2014, particularly due to strong capital inflows. According to Martowardojo, capital inflows in the first two months of 2014 exceed net capital inflows throughout 2013. Bank Indonesia regards the current foreign exchange reserves sufficient to underpin external sector resilience and maintain sustainable economic growth in Indonesia looking ahead.

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  • Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement Central Banks Indonesia and Korea

    Yesterday (06/03), the central banks of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) and the Korea established a bilateral local currency swap arrangement. The arrangement allows for the exchange of local currencies between the two central banks of up to KRW 10.7 trillion or IDR 115 trillion. The effective period of the facility will be three years, and could be extended by mutual consent of both sides. This arrangement is designed to promote bilateral trade and further strengthen financial cooperation for the economic development of the two countries.

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  • Bank Indonesia Sees No Room for Lower Interest Rate Anytime Soon

    Bank Indonesia Sees No Room for Lower Interest Rate Anytime Soon

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) has sent a clear signal to those market participants that hope to see a lower benchmark interest rate (BI rate) in Southeast Asia's largest economy in the near future. Governor of Bank Indonesia Agus Martowardojo stated that there will be no lower BI rate as long as there is looming global uncertainty. On the contrary, the possibility of another BI rate hike is still there. In 2013, Bank Indonesia raised its BI rate on five occassions in order to combat inflation and curb the country's wide current account deficit.

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  • Indonesia's Inflation Trend in February 2014: Easing or Accelerating?

    Statistics Indonesia (BPS) is optimistic that Indonesia's inflation rate in February 2014 can be curbed below the one percent mark. BPS official Sasmito Hadi Wibowo said that inflationary pressures are easing as floods have gone, while the LPG price moderated from last month. Prices of chicken meat and rice have remained stable but the price of chili is still growing slightly. In January 2014, severe floods caused 1.07 percent (month-to-month) of inflation due to disrupted distribution networks.

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  • Indonesia's High Rainfall Can Lead to Inflationary Pressures in January

    Traditionally in the first month of the year, heavy rainfalls plague certain areas of Indonesia, particularly parts of Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra as the rainy season hits its peak. These weather conditions cause social problems as tens of thousands of people need to relocate as well as economic turmoil due to disrupted harvests and logistic trouble amid bad connectivity. Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, stated that the current weather conditions may result in higher inflationary pressures in January.

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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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