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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  6 March 2014  

Disaster-affected people may get new loans from lenders

Indonesia: In a bid to revive economic activities in areas affected by natural disasters, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) will allow debtors living in those regions to seek more loans to reinject momentum into their businesses.

This facility can be enjoyed by debtors living in areas affected by the eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra; the floods in Manado, North Sulawesi; and the eruption of Mount Kelud in East Java.

“As of Jan. 22, we decided to provide debtors with easy access to loans. This special treatment is needed to restore the local economic activities following recent disasters in those areas,” OJK chairman Muliaman Darmansyah Hadad said on Monday.

“This policy is effective for three years starting from the time the disaster hit those areas,” he said at a hearing with the House of Representatives Commission XI, overseeing finance.

The recent eruption of Mt. Sinabung claimed 14 lives and caused more than Rp 1 trillion (US$86 million) of economic losses in Karo regency.

Nineteen people died as a result of the recent floods in Manado and the area suffered economic losses of around Rp 1.87 trillion, according to estimates from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).

“The disasters have also affected many debtors living nearby,” Muliaman said.

According to data from the OJK, the Mt. Sinabung eruption and flood in Manado affected 8,300 debtors, with loans totaling Rp 858 billion.

The disasters paralyzed nine commercial banks and four rural banks in Sinabung, as well as 12 commercial banks and three rural banks in Manado, data shows.

Muliaman further said his agency was offering several special treatment options. Among them include lenders allowing existing debtors to access new loans regardless of the qualities of their existing credit; lenders declaring debtors’ existing credit status as healthy; or lenders assessing the quality of debtors’ existing credit prior to and after the disasters.

According to OJK data, the Mt. Kelud eruption affected 10,300 debtors of seven commercial banks and 23 rural banks, with loans totaling Rp 332 billion.

During the public hearing, House Commission XI chairman Olly Dondokambey, questioned whether the OJK could carry out a haircut on those affected by the disasters.

“We already have regulations issued by Bank Indonesia [BI] which allow a haircut for those affected by a mishap declared as a ‘national disaster’. We want a similar facility for those affected by a mishap of a similar magnitude [although not declared a national disaster],” he said.

Speaking at a similar event, BI Deputy Governor Perry Warjiyo said that the OJK had to make sure that debtors living in areas affected by natural disaster would be exempt from default status.

“If there isn’t this kind of regulation yet, the OJK should make one,” he said.

Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) director Maryono said that his firm was currently restructuring credit qualities of its debtors affected by the volcanic eruption in Sinabung and flood in Manado, as required by the OJK decision.

“We will do what the regulation says. If there is a new regulation that says different, then we will just do it,” he said.

BTN currently has 92 debtors affected by the disasters in Sinabung and Manado, with a total of non-performing loans of Rp 438.8 billion and outstanding loans of Rp 18 billion.

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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.

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