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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   1 December 2010

Indonesia on track for credit upgrade

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Ratings agency Moody's said on Wednesday that it was putting Indonesia on review for a possible credit rating upgrade thanks to its economic "resilience" and improved management of the national finances.

In a statement from Singapore, the agency said it was reviewing the government's Ba2 foreign and local-currency bond ratings after placing them on a positive outlook in June.

An upgrade of one notch to Ba1 would leave Southeast Asia's biggest economy in "speculative grade" but just one rank below "investment grade," providing encouragement to foreign investors.

Moody's cited Indonesia's economic resilience accompanied by "sustained macroeconomic balance," its healthy debt position and the central bank's improving foreign currency reserve adequacy.

It also said the government's "policy framework remains increasingly well positioned to deal with evolving macroeconomic challenges and potential shocks."

"We have now placed the sovereign credit ratings and country ceilings on 'Review for Possible Upgrade' as the economic recovery is being sustained alongside well managed external accounts and reasonably good inflation fundamentals," Moody's vice president Aninda Mitra said.

He said improved foreign currency reserves and falling government debt were "reducing risk perceptions and encouraging greater inflows of foreign direct investment and long-term capital."

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