This file photo from 2016 shows a teller counting US dollar bills at a Bank Mandiri's counter in Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Indonesia's Foreign Reserves Hit Record High at $135b


AUGUST 07, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves have increased by 2.6 percent to $135 billion in July from $132 billion a month earlier after the government took loans from multinational institutions and issued dollar-denominated sovereign bonds, data from Bank Indonesia, the country central bank showed on Friday. 

This was Indonesia's highest foreign reserve on record, topping the previous $132 billion mark in January 2018.

The reserves would allow the largest economy in Southeast Asia to cover nine months' worth of imports or 8.6 months worth of imports and government's foreign loan payments. The international standard requires the country to hold assets that can cover at least three months of imports in its reserve. 

"Bank Indonesia considers the foreign exchange reserves can support [the country's] external resilience and maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability," Onny Widjanarko, the central bank's executive director of communication, said in a statement. 

The last time government issuing global bonds was in June when it raised $2.5 billion from selling dollar-denominated Islamic bonds. Since January, the country has raised $9.9 billion from selling the global bonds as part of its effort to finance a massive stimulus program to dampen the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its economy. 

"Going forward, Bank Indonesia views that foreign exchange reserves will remain adequate, supported by stability and a maintained economic outlook, along with various policy responses to promote economic recovery," Onny said. 

The country's reserves hit a record high in July 2020, after a series of successful government's bond issuances.