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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    29  September 2011

Indonesia fundamentals remain strong

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The fundamentals of Indonesia’s economy remain strong even as the nation’s financial markets were buffeted in recent weeks by concerns over the global financial crisis, a top finance ministry official said on Wednesday.

“Current volatility is caused by market sentiment, affecting all countries, including Indonesia,” said Rahmat Waluyanto, director general of the Debt Management Office, which is part of the Finance Ministry.

Indonesian financial markets were among the world’s best performers in the past two years, attracting massive amounts of foreign capital.

Rahmat said Indonesia has raised Rp 4 trillion (US$452 million) by selling government bonds on Tuesday, including investors who submitted bids worth Rp 10 trillion for the bonds on offer.

“There is investor confidence in our market, and there is also liquidity,’’ Rahmat said.

Of the Rp 4 trillion raised on Tuesday, the government sold Rp 1 trillion worth of five-year bonds due in 2016 at a yield of 6.472 percent. It also sold Rp 1.5 trillion worth of 15-year bonds due in 2026 to yield at 7.569 percent, according to data from the government.

Analyst and foreign exchange traders said that concerns over the global crisis have prompted many offshore investors to pull out of Indonesia.

Data from the Indonesian stock market showed that foreigners were unloading about $550 million in shares, and they reduced their holdings of rupiah-denominated bonds by nearly $3 billion.

Foreign ownership of government bonds fell 11 percent to Rp 222.8 trillion on Monday from Rp 251.23 trillion on Sept. 9. That translated into a Rp 28.4 trillion capital outflow from the country in two-and-a-half weeks.

Rahmat said that he has met with officials from rating agencies such Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings during his visit to Washington. “All of them” were positive about Indonesia, Rahmat maintained.



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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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