INA's inaugural president director Ridha Wirakusumah at the State Palace in Jakarta on Feb. 16, 2021. (JG Screenshot)

Indonesia's Sovereign Wealth Fund Unveils Initial Strategy to Attract Investors

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

FEBRUARY 16, 2021

Jakarta. Indonesia Investment Authority, or INA, recently unveiled their initial strategy to attract investors into funding the national development projects.

For a better investment climate, the country's sovereign wealth fund will first ensure good governance by working alongside the supervisory board and accounting firms.

“Secondly, we will continue the tasks that are already in-progress and consult with the ministers to find out which asset that can be shared with the investors,” INA's inaugural president director Ridha Wirakusumah told a press conference broadcasted virtually on Tuesday.

"There are numerous infrastructure projects that we have earmarked. There is also a $9.5 billion [investment] in the pipeline, but we must first ensure these projects can bring good return for us and our co-investors."

Ridha revealed, among the many infrastructure projects, INA will first concentrate on attracting investors to fund the toll road projects. This is because toll roads inflict a large multiplier effect and high investment value.

"Thirdly, we would like to build professionalism. Thus, the investments built by INA and our co-investors can bring good results, high added value, and competences that can gradually boost the professionalism performance in Indonesia," the Bank Permata president director said.

"We are looking for capital funds, not loan funds. If possible, funds that add value. The sources must also have good and clean governance."

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said, at the behest of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, she will keep a close eye on INA to avoid it from suffering the same fate as the corruption-smeared 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

She, along with fellow ex-officio INA supervisor and State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir, had also ensured the board of directors and supervisors are people of high integrity and credibility.

"The president instructed us to prove that Indonesia has an investment authority with good governance," Sri Mulyani said.

According to the minister, global fund managers have shown interest in investing. They had even lettered their expressions of interests to the ex-officio supervisors. These partner candidates even detailed how much they were willing to invest. 

In addition, the government will provide Rp 75 trillion (around $5.4 billion) to INA until the end of this year. INA will receive a capital injection of up to Rp 30 trillion in cash, which is deducted from the 2020 and 2021 state budget. Whilst the remaining Rp 45 trillion will be in the form of shares from tangible assets.

"The board of directors will follow up on these expressions of interests. [...] INA will use this initial capital to start discussions on the technical details with the partner candidates," Sri Mulyani said.

"We are not borrowing their money, but they invest together with us. This is our strategy for us to be less dependent on leverage or loans."

The virtual press conference followed the appointment of INA’s board of directors by President Jokowi at the State Palace in Jakarta. Joining Ridha is Arief Budiman as the deputy president director. Arief had served as the former finance director of state-owned energy company Pertamina. 

Stefanus Ade Hadiwidjaja also joined the team as the investment director. He was previously the managing director of private equity firm Creador. Marita Alisjahbana -- the former country risk manager of Citi Indonesia -- is now INA’s risk director.

Last but not least is Eddy Porwanto as INA’s finance director. Eddy was once the chief financial officer of the country's flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

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