Indonesian banks support the country's financial authorities' intention to cut lending rates to single digit margins (in a bid to boost credit growth and economic activity). However, these banks argue that lower interest rates should be the result of enhanced efficiency at banks, not by the Financial Services Authority (OJK)'s plan to cut banks' net interest margin (NIM). Earlier this year, the OJK - the government agency that regulates and supervises Indonesia's financial services sector - announced its plan to push state-owned banks' NIM down to the range of 3 to 4 percent.
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Today's Headlines Net Interest Margin
In anticipation of the Financial Services Authority's new policy, Indonesian banks categorized under BUKU III claim to be ready for a lower net interest margin (NIM). NIM is the difference between interest income generated by banks and the amount of interest paid out to the lenders. BUKU (Bank Umum Kelompok Usaha) is a categorization system, designed by Bank Indonesia, that divides Indonesian banks into four categories based on the banks' capital. Banks categorized under BUKU III have capital between IDR 5 trillion (approx. USD $373 million) and IDR 30 trillion (approx. USD $2.2 billion).
Most Asian stock markets fell on Tuesday (23/02) on extended concerns about the world's low crude oil prices and China's economic slowdown. Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) plunged 1.16 percent to 4,654.05 points, leading declines in Asia as the nation's banking shares were also affected by local financial authorities' plans to curtail the net interest margin in order to bring down Indonesian banks' lending rates and boost credit expansion in Southeast Asia's largest economy.
On 21 February 2016, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website over the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic matters such as new rules regarding banks' net interest margin, an update on Indonesia's trade balance, interest rates, the 2016 State Budget, the coal industry, the cement industry, and more.
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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The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced on Friday (15/04) it will adopt a new monetary tool per 19 August 2016 that is to replace the existing BI rate which is considered too inefficient to influence market liquidity as it is not directly tied to Indonesia's money markets. The seven-day reverse repurchase rate (reverse repo), which stood at 5.50 percent in the central bank's last auction, is to become the nation's new benchmark. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo, who communicated through a teleconference from Washington DC, emphasized that the central bank will not change its monetary stance.
The banking sector remains a key sector for growth of Indonesia's financial industry as well as the country's general economic expansion as the sector posted the highest profits worldwide. Prasetiantoko Augustine, economist at Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), said that profitability in Indonesia's banking sector is not only highest in the ASEAN and Southeast Asian region but also worldwide. Bank Rakyat Indonesia posted the highest profit of Indonesian banks in 2013 (IDR 21 trillion), followed by Bank Mandiri (IDR 18 trillion) and BCA (IDR 14 trillion).
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