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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs               1  August 2011

Indo economy grew in second quarter

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Profits at some of the largest companies in Indonesia rose in the second quarter, boosting the case that the economy grew during that period.

Bank Mandiri’s net income in the April-June period rose 25 percent to Rp 2.54 trillion ($300 million) from a year earlier. The lender, viewed as a bellwether for the banking industry because it is the largest by assets, saw strong growth in its lending.

The second-quarter figures for Mandiri and other companies were compiled by subtracting first-quarter data from unaudited first-half income statements that were released last week.

Mandiri’s net interest margin — the percentage-point difference between the rate it charges on loans and the rate it pays depositors — remained steady from the first quarter to the end of the second quarter at 5.2 percent.

Still, profit growth slowed from the 89 percent rate in the first quarter, when it booked a Rp 1.3 trillion gain from the one-time sale of Garuda Indonesia shares.

At Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Mandiri’s closest rival, second-quarter net income jumped 62 percent to Rp 3.53 trillion. That was larger than the 52 percent increase for the first quarter, as micro-lending, which makes up about a third of the bank’s total loan portfolio, increased.

Achmad Baiquni, BRI’s finance director, expressed confidence about the prospect of the bank doubling its profit in the second half, particularly because it focused on micro-lending.

Those loans disburse as little as Rp 100,000 to small businesses or sole proprietors and carry interest rates of about 24 percent, compared with commercial lending interest of about 12 percent.

“Loan growth may look slow, but most of the loans disbursed are micro-credits,” Achmad said.


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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.

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