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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     August 3,  2016  

Economist touts Mandiri, BNI merger to boost growth

Indonesia:The government needs to consolidate state banks, such as Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Mandiri, to initiate bank consolidations carried out by private lenders, a senior analyst said in Jakarta on Monday.

Economist Faisal Basri said consolidating banks was a good move to increase loan disbursement to boost the country’s economic growth. “Our economy moves at a snail’s pace because banks disburse small loans,” Faisal added.

He said the three-largest banks in terms of assets in Southeast Asia were Singapore lenders—namely DBS, OCBC and UOB. They managed to be huge because the initial 13 banks in Singapore had been consolidated into only three banks.

“Bank Mandiri is currently 11th on the list. If BNI and Bank Mandiri merged, it could be the seventh-largest bank in the region,” Faisal told The Jakarta Post,” he said.

Bank Mandiri, which records US$66 billion in assets, is the largest in Indonesia but 11th in ASEAN according to Forbes this year. State-owned BRI followed in 12th position, BCA in 14th, and BNI in 15th.

Calls to consolidate Indonesia’s banking sectors are increasing in anticipation of the ASEAN Economic Community. Indonesia records about 120 banks, while other countries in the region have fewer than 50.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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