Indonesian Economic UpdateThursday, July 10, 2014 > 08:28:02
Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves increased 0.7 percent in June, thanks in part to the rise in the government’s oil and gas revenue and higher foreign-exchange term deposits at local banks.
Reserves climbed to $107.7 billion at the end of June, from $107 billion a month earlier, the central bank said in a statement on Monday.
The rupiah traded at 11,787 against the US dollar on Monday from 11,887 last week.
“The increase in foreign exchange reserve is mainly due to government oil and gas revenue that exceeds the foreign debt payment,” said Peter Jacob, a central bank director in the statement.
Peter also noted that the foreign-exchange term deposit in local banks increased, reducing the need for Bank Indonesia to intervene in the foreign exchange market.
The central bank did not elaborate on the oil and gas proceeds data nor the foreign-exchange term deposit.
Indonesia’s trade balance swung to a $69.9 million surplus in May from a $1.97 billion deficit in April, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced last week. The country’s oil and gas trade balance returned to a $70 million surplus from a $1.96 billion deficit the month before.
At the current level, reserves can finance the country’s imports and debt payment for six months, which is double the minimum level of the global standard of three months, Peter said.
“Bank Indonesia sees the reserve has positive impact to efforts in strengthening [the country’s] external resilience and maintaining Indonesia’s economic growth sustainability,” he said.
Foreign investors have kept buying Indonesian financial assets including bonds and stocks despite growing uncertainty ahead of the presidential election as former army general Prabowo Subianto catches up in polls with rival candidate Joko Widodo.
Foreign investors have bought net Rp 45 trillion in Indonesian stocks so far this year. Foreigners own Rp 403.59 trillion in tradeable government bonds, or 36 percent of the total, up from Rp 323.83 trillion, or 33 percent, at the end of last year.
Helmy Kristanto, an equity research analyst at Danareksa, said that a win by Joko will encourage more foreigners to come in to Indonesia markets.
“If Jokowi won, a strong capital inflow would likely to occur next month, boosting market valuation and rupiah appreciation,” Helmy said in a research note on Monday.