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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  16 November 2010

Indo rupiah declines on capital inflow alert

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Indonesia's rupiah fell for a fourth straight day as the Indonesian government signaled it may take measures to curb capital inflows that brought the rupiah to a three-year high this month.

Global funds poured $2.2 billion into Indonesian stocks so far in 2010, exchange data show. Overseas investors increased their holdings of government bonds by 80 percent to 195.5 trillion rupiah ($21.8 billion) this year as of November 12, according to the finance ministry's website. Indonesia is studying options, including taxes, to manage the inflows, Agus Suprijanto, acting head of fiscal policy at the Finance Ministry, said yesterday.

"The fact that the authorities are considering steps to control the fund inflows isn't unexpected as this is the trend in the region," said a Singapore economist at. "We don't expect any draconian measures. The authorities are willing to allow the rupiah to appreciate."

The rupiah fell 0.1 percent to 8,968 per dollar as of 8:40 a.m. in Jakarta, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency reached 8,875 on Nov. 5, the strongest level since June 2007.

The central bank and the government will meet "soon" to discuss policy coordination in managing the inflow of funds, Perry Warjiyo, a director at Bank Indonesia, said on November 12.

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