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August 9, 2008

Bank Indonesia to keep rupiah rates in check
Bank Indonesia said it will continue to limit the volatility in the rupiah exchange rate, reported Reuters Friday.

Reuters quoted deputy governor Budi Mulya as saying in a text message, “Bank Indonesia will keep containing the volatility of the exchange rate by keeping its presence in the market.”

“I’m optimisitc that there was no negative change in the (economic) fundamentals and maintaining macroeconomic stability will remain Bank Indonesia’s top priority,” he added.

In the past two-and-a-half months, the currency has strengthened from 9,380 rupiah per dollar, to 9,057 rupiah on Wednesday. The currency has weakened slightly since then and was trading at 9,160 to the dollar as of 0300 GMT.

Some analysts said the currency has been supported by a string of interest rate hikes by the central bank.

Bank Indonesia has raised its overnight policy rate by one percentage point to 9 percent in the past four months in an attempt to contain annual inflation, which hit 11.9 percent in July.

Consumer price inflation in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy return to double-digit levels after the government raised subsidised fuel prices by around 30 percent to help reduce the impact of soaring oil price on its budget.

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