Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo gives a press statement on Thursday. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Despite Sell-Off, $7.3b in Foreign Funds Remain Parked in Indonesia: BI Governor

BY :BERITASATU

MARCH 04, 2020

Jakarta. Close to $7.3 billion in foreign investors' funds remain parked in rupiah-denominated accounts following a sell-off in the bond and stock market last week, Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank, announced on Wednesday.

Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo said the figure indicated persistent confidence in the country's economy to ride out the slowdown triggered by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The central bank cut its benchmark interest rate last month to stimulate growth and stands ready to mobilize all its monetary instruments to maintain market confidence, Perry said. 

Five policies launched by the central bank earlier this week and good coordination with the government as a fiscal authority and with the Financial Services Authority (OJK) were able to calm market panic, he said.

"The proof, Rp 103 trillion ($7.3 billion) in foreign funds coming out of government securities and stocks are still in Indonesia," Perry said. 

The owners of these funds will re-invest their funds in SBN government bonds and shares in line with their rising confidence in Indonesia's financial and economic conditions, he said. 

The Indonesian stock market rebounded on Tuesday and Wednesday from its lowest level in more than three years, after a week that saw more than Rp 1,066 trillion wiped off the market. 

"Bank Indonesia will always try to maintain market confidence," Perry said in a discussion with editors-in-chief of local media on Wednesday.

Bank Indonesia now estimated Indonesia's economic growth would reach 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2020.

It will continue to pick up pace to 5 percent in the second quarter, 5.1 percent in the third quarter and 5.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. 

At present, Perry said, the number of Chinese citizens infected with Covid-19 is declining and economic activity in China has begun to pick up. 

Even though there has been a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases outside of China, especially in South Korea, Italy and Iran, Perry said the central bank predicted the outbreak would subside once seasonal changes cause temperatures in those countries to rise. 

"Starting in April, the number of new Covid-19 patients is expected to start falling," Perry said.

 

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