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            [post_content] => Jakarta. Rating agency Fitch Ratings said on Thursday (20/04) tensions witnessed during the Jakarta governor poll could resurface in the run-up to Indonesia's next presidential election in 2019 and potentially affect support for the government's policy agenda negatively.

Former education minister Anies Baswedan beat incumbent Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama by a big margin on Wednesday, after a polarizing campaign that cast a shadow over Indonesia's reputation for practicing a tolerant form of Islam.

"The early results of the tense Jakarta elections seem to suggest that religious factors could play an increasingly significant role in future Indonesian elections," Fitch said in an emailed statement.

However, the rating agency said Indonesia has made a "substantial" progress in improving governance over the past two decades and the country's democratic electoral process has remained intact.

Reuters 
            [post_title] => Fitch Says Religious Tensions Could Affect Future Indonesia Elections
            [post_excerpt] => Rating agency Fitch Ratings said on Thursday (20/04) tensions witnessed during the Jakarta governor poll could resurface in the run-up to Indonesia's next presidential election in 2019 and potentially affect support for the government's policy agenda negatively.
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Jakarta. XL Axiata, Indonesia's second-largest mobile phone operator is planning to raise Rp 2.18 trillion ($163 million) from selling Islamic bonds this month to refinance its debt and fund its working capital.

The company's Islamic bond sale is the second tranche of the planned Rp 5 trillion issuance. In 2015, XL issued Rp 1.5 trillion.

The company will offer the bonds, known as sukuk ijarah, in five series, each with a different maturity period.

The first series Rp 1.04 trillion bonds are set to mature in 370 days. In the second series, Rp 402 billion bonds will have a three-year maturity period.

In the third series, XL will offer Rp 142 billion with a five-year maturity period. In the fourth, Rp 260 billion to mature in seven years. The last series, of Rp 336 billion, will mature in 10 years.

The mobile operator appointed CIMB Securities Indonesia, Mandiri Sekuritas, Maybank Kim Eng Securities, DBS Vickers Securities Indonesia and Indo Premier Securities as underwriters.

Fitch Ratings Indonesia, a local unit of global rating assessor Fitch Ratings, has granted an AAA rating for the issuance, reflecting the lowest risk compared to the company's domestic peers.

The proceeds will be used to pay back the debt of Rp 375 billion to Bank Mandiri and Rp 1.8 trillion to Bank Central Asia, while remaining Rp 5 billion will be allocated to pay the lease of XL's telecommunication tower.

The company will offer the bonds from April 21 to 25, before a listing on the Indonesia Stock Exchange on May 2.

XL booked Rp 376 billion in net income last year, a huge swing from Rp 25 billion losses a year earlier, thanks to the sales of cellular towers and favorable foreign-exchange conditions.

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Fitch Ratings, a global debt rating assessor, revised Indonesia's credit rating outlook to positive on Wednesday (21/12) on the back of the government's low debt burdens and favorable growth outlook amid a weak-but-improving business environment. Indonesia is rated BBB- for both of its long-term foreign and local debt, meaning it is in the lowest rank of investment grade. A positive outlook opens a possibility for an upgrade at Fitch's next assessment. "A strong structural reform drive since September 2015 is gradually improving the difficult business environment, and is likely to support the growth outlook in the medium term," a statement from Fitch Ratings said. "Continued macro-policy settings supporting stability combined with a persistent reform drive have the potential to structurally reduce vulnerabilities in Indonesia's external finances." Fitch forecasts Indonesia's economy to grow 5.1 percent this year and 5.4 percent next year, more optimistic compared to the government's 5 percent estimation this year and 5.1 percent next year. [post_title] => Fitch Revises Indonesia's Credit Outlook to Positive, Awakens Hope for Upgrade [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.id/?p=615407 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-21 12:45:50 [post_date] => 2016-12-21 19:45:50 [post_name] => fitch-revises-indonesias-credit-outlook-positive-awakens-hope-upgrade [author] => Tabita Diela [author_permalink] => /author/tabita-diela/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 227 [name] => Economy [slug] => economy [parent] => 120 [term_taxonomy_id] => 250 [permalink] => business/economy ) ) [permalink] => /economy/fitch-revises-indonesias-credit-outlook-positive-awakens-hope-upgrade/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1482380834:199 [_edit_last] => 199 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Tabita Diela [post_writter_override] => 258 [post_source_override] => 258 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 609241 [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => Indonesia credit outlook [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => Fitch Ratings, a global debt rating assessor, revised Indonesia's credit rating outlook to positive on Wednesday (21/12). 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According to Agus, Indonesia has undertaken a series of "appropriate policy responses" to maintain stability in the country while aiming towards sustainable economic growth. Indonesia's economy expanded 4.92 percent in the January to March period this year, higher than the 4.73 percent in the same period a year earlier. The rating agency on Monday said it maintained Indonesia's sovereign rating at BBB-/stable outlook with several considerations, including a low government debt burden, favorable growth outlook, and a limited sovereign exposure to banking sector risks. Fitch Ratings previously affirmed Indonesia's rating on Nov. 6. Still, Fitch Ratings also highlighted Indonesia's need to further improve the investment climate as market sentiment has a relatively high impact on the external sector. Tirta Segara, Bank Indonesia's executive director at the communication department, said the central bank has issued regulations to manage external debt for non-bank corporations that adopt a more flexible exchange rate, allowing the country to maintain adequate foreign exchange reserves. "The Government has also continued to show its commitment to implement structural reform through the issuance of the series of economic policy packages," he said. [post_title] => Fitch Maintains Indonesia's Rating at Investment Grade [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=542817 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-24 08:35:07 [post_date] => 2016-05-24 15:35:07 [post_name] => fitch-maintains-indonesias-rating-investment-grade [author] => Tabita Diela [author_permalink] => /author/tabita-diela/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 227 [name] => Economy [slug] => economy [parent] => 120 [term_taxonomy_id] => 250 [permalink] => business/economy ) ) [permalink] => /economy/fitch-maintains-indonesias-rating-investment-grade/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1464078788:250 [_edit_last] => 250 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Tabita Diela [post_writter_override] => 258 [post_source_override] => 258 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => fitch [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => Indonesia's sovereign debt rating remains on the investment grade on the back of the country's economic resilience against global challenges, according to an international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings. 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"When asked about positioning, over half felt that it was the right time to increase investment in Indonesia, versus just over 40 percent who responded that they would stay neutral, and only 3 percent who advocated a decrease," the ratings assessor said. "Confidence that capital spending and infrastructure investment would increase was also high among participants  a combined 85 percent responded that they were either very, or somewhat optimistic that infrastructure spending would significantly accelerate in 2016-2017," it said. The ratings agency  which has kept Indonesia among investment-grade countries since 2011 — said early signs of success in the government's structural reforms and acceleration of infrastructure investment would be positive for credit as it indicates a new economic growth cycle. Fitch forecasts Indonesia's real gross domestic product growth to accelerate slightly to 5.1 percent this year and 5.4 percent in 2017, compared to 4.8 percent in 2015, which was also the slowest pace since 2009. That was slightly less optimistic than the government's 5.3 percent target for this year, as stated in the 2016 state budget. However, Fitch expected that reform will be long and that fiscal space to boost public capital expenditure is limited due to very low government revenue. Last year, the government's total revenue from taxes, customs and excise and other non-tax revenues reached Rp 1,505 trillion ($114 billion), only 85 percent of the Rp 1,762 trillion target. External Concerns Still, questions remain about how Indonesia would cope with the decline in global commodity demand that is pressuring revenue from overseas, while the country needs to rely on imports of services and materials for domestic development. "China's slowdown was seen as the greatest economic risk in 2016, with more respondents voting for this as the principal concern over domestic policy risks and United States [Federal Reserve] interest rates," Fitch said in the note. "Weak domestic corporate balance sheets do not suggest a pickup in private investment in the [short] term and the external environment remains a major uncertainty," the agency said.   [post_title] => Investor Confidence Improves in Indonesia: Fitch [post_excerpt] => Indonesian government's policy reforms and focus on infrastructure development have started to contribute to the country's economic growth, returning confidence of investors and businesses in recent months, global debt rating assessor Fitch Ratings said in a statement published on Friday (01/04). [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=523453 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-01 13:21:43 [post_date] => 2016-04-01 20:21:43 [post_name] => investor-confidence-improves-indonesia-fitch [author] => Tabita Diela [author_permalink] => /author/tabita-diela/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 227 [name] => Economy [slug] => economy [parent] => 120 [term_taxonomy_id] => 250 [permalink] => business/economy ) ) [permalink] => /economy/investor-confidence-improves-indonesia-fitch/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1459517020:277 [_edit_last] => 277 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Tabita Diela [post_writter_override] => 222 [post_source_override] => 258 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 523497 [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => investors confidence [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => The government's policy reforms and focus on infrastructure development have started to contribute to Indonesia's economic growth, Fitch Ratings said [_yoast_wpseo_linkdex] => 65 [jglobeShrinker] => http://jglo.be/jd9A ) [user_author] => Tabita Diela [author_by_line] => Tabita Diela [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 3000 [height] => 2000 [file] => http://img.thejakartaglobe.com/2016/04/antarafoto-optimisme-pertumbuhan-ekonomi-290316-sgd-5.jpg [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => antarafoto-optimisme-pertumbuhan-ekonomi-290316-sgd-5-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => antarafoto-optimisme-pertumbuhan-ekonomi-290316-sgd-5-300x200.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 200 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => antarafoto-optimisme-pertumbuhan-ekonomi-290316-sgd-5-1024x682.jpg [width] => 1024 [height] => 682 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 5.6 [credit] => SIGID KURNIAWAN [camera] => NIKON D750 [caption] => The Indonesian government's policy reforms and focus on infrastructure development have started to contribute to the country's economic growth, returning confidence to investors and businesses in recent months, global debt rating assessor Fitch Ratings said in a statement published on Friday (01/04).(Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan) [created_timestamp] => 1459274605 [copyright] => ANTARA FOTO [focal_length] => 17 [iso] => 140 [shutter_speed] => 0.0055555555555556 [title] => Suasana pemukiman, perkantoran dan gedung bertingkat di Jakarta, Selasa (29/3). ) [post_id] => 523497 ) ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 518086 [post_author] => 258 [post_content] => Jakarta. Indonesia's auto sales may grow 3 percent to 5 percent this year on the back of an improved economic outlook and lower interest rates that would put more money in the hands of prospective buyers, according to the global ratings agency Fitch Ratings. Car and motorcycles sales declined 5 percent and 11 percent on an annual basis to 173,000 units and 941,000 units respectively in the January-February period. Still, those were the slowest sales decline since August 2014, Fitch noted, hinting at an imminent rebound. "Supporting a recovery, Indonesia's economic growth may be boosted by government policies, which include accelerated infrastructure spending," Fitch said in a statement on Friday (18/3). The economy is expected to grow around 5.2 percent to 5.6 percent this year, up from 4.8 percent growth last year, according to an estimation by Bank Indonesia, the country central bank. Bank Indonesia has cut its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points so far to 6.75 percent in March. This, according to Fitch, would support auto loans financing as two-thirds of car purchases in Indonesia are made through loans. Fitch's outlook matches Gaikindo's 5 percent growth target for 2016. The association previously said that domestic automotive sales will grow to around 1.05 million to 1.1 million units this year from the previous 1.01 million in 2015. The Indonesian Motorcycles Industry Association (AISI) shared optimism as it expects motorcycle sales to reach 6.5 million units this year, up from 6.48 million units in 2015. [post_title] => Indonesia Auto Sales to Pick Up Despite Slow Start: Fitch [post_excerpt] => Indonesia's auto sales may grow 3 percent to 5 percent this year on the back of an improved economic outlook and lower interest rates that would put more money in the hands of prospective buyers, according to the global ratings agency Fitch Ratings. [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=518086 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-18 06:12:20 [post_date] => 2016-03-18 13:12:20 [post_name] => indonesia-auto-sales-pick-despite-slow-start-fitch [author] => Tabita Diela [author_permalink] => /author/tabita-diela/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 23110 [name] => Automotive [slug] => automotive-business [parent] => 120 [term_taxonomy_id] => 23194 [permalink] => business/automotive-business ) ) [permalink] => /automotive-business/indonesia-auto-sales-pick-despite-slow-start-fitch/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1458281414:251 [_edit_last] => 251 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Tabita Diela [post_writter_override] => 258 [post_source_override] => 258 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 518115 [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => Auto sales [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => Indonesia's auto sales may grow 3 percent to 5 percent this year on the back of an improved economic outlook and lower interest rates that would put more money in the hands of prospective buyers, according to the global ratings agency Fitch Ratings. 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(Antara Photo/Zarqoni Maksum) [created_timestamp] => 1453561771 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 105 [iso] => 400 [shutter_speed] => 0.00125 [title] => Presdir PT Honda Prospect Motor (HPM) Tomoki Uchida (kiri) dan Direktur Pemasaran dan Layanan Purna Jual Jonfis Fandy (kanan) mengacungkan jempol bersama para pemilik mobil baru Honda BR-V saat acara penyerahan perdana 200 unit BR-V kepada konsumen di Ja ) [post_id] => 518115 ) ) [6] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 515923 [post_author] => 258 [post_content] => Jakarta. Falling prices in the Indonesian steel pipe market are "unlikely" to have any material impact on large domestic manufacturers as they will still enjoy the benefits of stable operating profitability and adequate volume growth, Fitch Ratings said in a statement. Fitch said the Steel Pipe Industry of Indonesia (Spindo), a listed manufacturer of steel pipes and tubes controlling 30 percent of the market, would continue to benefit from a relatively stable operating profitability (EBITDA margin) and volume growth. "Fitch believes that the excess capacity alone will not put meaningful pressure on domestic steel pipe prices because the gap between demand and production is not large," the ratings agency said in a statement on Monday (14/03). The ratings agency said Spindo's sales are likely to grow by between 15 percent and 20 percent this year due to the economic recovery and capacity additions. The manufacturer's sales volume rose by 22 percent in January, compared to a year earlier. The company's EBITDA margin remained stable in 2015 at about 14 percent, slightly higher than 13.8 percent in 2014 despite the average selling price falling by around 10 percent. The ratings agency said the price pressure was likely to come from a combination of a prolonged decline in steel pipe prices and low-cost imports from China. "Demand for the Indonesian steel sector will depend heavily on the pace of work on large government-led infrastructure projects across Indonesia," it said. According to the Indonesian Iron and Steel Industry Association (IISIA), the national steel pipe production capacity reached 2.74 million tons in 2015 while demand is expected to remain at 2.57 million tons until 2020. [post_title] => Weak Prices Have Limited Impact on Indonesian Steel Pipe Makers: Fitch [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=515923 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-14 12:26:37 [post_date] => 2016-03-14 19:26:37 [post_name] => weak-prices-limited-impact-indonesian-steel-pipe-makers-fitch [author] => Tabita Diela [author_permalink] => /author/tabita-diela/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 148 [name] => Corporate News [slug] => corporate-news [parent] => 120 [term_taxonomy_id] => 170 [permalink] => business/corporate-news ) ) [permalink] => /corporate-news/weak-prices-limited-impact-indonesian-steel-pipe-makers-fitch/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1457958406:277 [_edit_last] => 277 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Tabita Diela [post_writter_override] => 258 [post_source_override] => 258 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 190431 [snap_isAutoPosted] => 1 [snapTW] => s:142:"a:1:{i:0;a:4:{s:11:"isPrePosted";s:1:"1";s:8:"isPosted";s:1:"1";s:4:"pgID";s:18:"709355315632844800";s:5:"pDate";s:19:"2016-03-14 12:26:41";}}"; [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => indonesia steel pipe industry [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => Falling prices in the Indonesian steel pipe market are "unlikely" to have any material impact on large domestic manufacturers as they will still enjoy the benefits of stable operating profitability and adequate volume growth, Fitch Ratings said in a statement. [jglobeShrinker] => http://jglo.be/jb1R [_yoast_wpseo_linkdex] => 59 ) [user_author] => Tabita Diela [author_by_line] => Tabita Diela [attachment] => stdClass Object ( [width] => 1600 [height] => 1066 [file] => http://img.thejakartaglobe.com/2013/07/BEA13_INDONESIA_0221_11_preview.jpg [sizes] => stdClass Object ( [thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => BEA13_INDONESIA_0221_11_preview-150x150.jpg [width] => 150 [height] => 150 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [medium] => stdClass Object ( [file] => BEA13_INDONESIA_0221_11_preview-300x199.jpg [width] => 300 [height] => 199 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [large] => stdClass Object ( [file] => BEA13_INDONESIA_0221_11_preview-1024x682.jpg [width] => 1024 [height] => 682 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [wysija-newsletters-max] => stdClass Object ( [file] => BEA13_INDONESIA_0221_11_preview-600x399.jpg [width] => 600 [height] => 399 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [post-thumbnail] => stdClass Object ( [file] => BEA13_INDONESIA_0221_11_preview-50x50.jpg [width] => 50 [height] => 50 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) [gabfire] => stdClass Object ( [file] => BEA13_INDONESIA_0221_11_preview-1024x682.jpg [width] => 1024 [height] => 682 [mime-type] => image/jpeg ) ) [image_meta] => stdClass Object ( [aperture] => 0 [credit] => [camera] => [caption] => Falling prices in the Indonesian steel pipe market are ‘unlikely’ to have any material impact on large domestic manufacturers as they will still enjoy the benefits of stable operating profitability and adequate volume growth, Fitch Ratings said in a statement on Monday (14/03). (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta) [created_timestamp] => 0 [copyright] => [focal_length] => 0 [iso] => 0 [shutter_speed] => 0 [title] => ) [post_id] => 190431 ) ) [7] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 500754 [post_author] => 206 [post_content] => Jakarta. Indonesia's property firms reported modest marketing sales performances last year due to several project postponements amid muted consumer demand and a challenging macroeconomic environment, rating agency Fitch Ratings has said. Marketing sales, also referred to as pre-sales, is a practice in which property is sold before it is built, a move that provides developers with a cash flow but puts customers at a grave risk should the project fail. In a statement released Thursday, Fitch reported the consolidated pre-sales of the seven major homebuilders under its radar fell 10.4 percent in the fourth quarter last year compared to the year before. This led to a 12 percent decline during the entire year of 2015 to Rp 29.9 trillion ($2.2 billion). "We continue to expect modest growth within a range of 0 percent to 10 percent in 2016, coming off a low base in 2015, as per our 2016 Outlook: Indonesian Homebuilders' report," the rating agency said in a statement. Fitch keeps track of seven major property companies in Indonesia: Alam Sutera Realty, Bumi Serpong Damai, Ciputra Development, Lippo Karawaci, Modernland Realty, Pakuwon Jati and Summarecon. Among the seven companies, Fitch singled out Bumi Serpong Damai, an entity under Indonesian tycoon Eka Tjipta Widjaja's Sinar Mas Group, as well as Ciputra Group's Ciputra Development as two developers with positive pre-sales growth last year. "Bumi Serpong Damai has outperformed its peers with stronger 2015 presales than our expectations, and 5 percent higher than in 2014. We expect flat pre-sales in 2016," the rating agency said. Bumi Serpong Damai, who owns the BSD City township in Serpong, reported Rp 6.8 trillion in marketing sales from Rp 6.5 trillion in the year before, however the company still fell below its initial target of Rp 7.5 trillion after postponing three projects last year.  On the other hand, Lippo Karawaci, whose holding group is affiliated with the Jakarta Globe, and Alam Sutera Realty, reported "considerably weaker 2015 pre-sales than we expected," Fitch added. [post_title] => Homebuilders Saw Lackluster Pre-Sales in 2015 Amid Harsh Economic Conditions: Fitch [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=500754 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-04 12:12:22 [post_date] => 2016-02-04 19:12:22 [post_name] => homebuilders-saw-lackluster-pre-sales-2015-amid-harsh-economic-conditions-fitch [author] => Vanesha Manuturi [author_permalink] => /author/vanesha-manuturi/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 10685 [name] => Property [slug] => property-business [parent] => 120 [term_taxonomy_id] => 10742 [permalink] => business/property-business ) ) [permalink] => /property-business/homebuilders-saw-lackluster-pre-sales-2015-amid-harsh-economic-conditions-fitch/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1454587872:250 [_edit_last] => 250 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Vanesha Manuturi [post_writter_override] => 206 [post_source_override] => 206 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 457665 [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => homebuilders [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => Indonesia's property firms reported modest marketing sales performances last year due to several project postponements amid muted consumer demand and a challenging macroeconomic environment, rating agency Fitch Ratings has said. 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(ID Photo/David Gita Roza) [created_timestamp] => 1358158817 [copyright] => IDphoto 2014 [focal_length] => 300 [iso] => 400 [shutter_speed] => 0.0025 [title] => ) [post_id] => 457665 ) ) [8] => stdClass Object ( [ID] => 494018 [post_author] => 258 [post_content] => Jakarta. The move by Indonesia's central bank to cut its key rate is unlikely to significantly boost loan growth in the country, as commercial lenders are still pressured by asset quality and profitability, international rating assessor Fitch Ratings said in a statement on Tuesday. Bank Indonesia cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25 percent last week after keeping it steady at 7.5 percent since February last year. The central bank seeks to stimulate loan growth and ultimately help the domestic economy, but Fitch said that rate cut alone “is unlikely” to be sufficient to boost bank lending growth, “which Fitch expects will remain in the low teens for the third consecutive year in 2016.” The rating assessor said that the asset quality and profitability of commercial lenders “should remain under pressure” with non-performing loans estimated to rise to 3.5 percent by end-2016, with weakness concentrated in the mining sector. The latest data from the government showed that gross NPLs in the third quarter of 2015 reached 2.71 percent of total loans. It was the highest level in four years. The soaring number of “special-mention” loans last year has confirmed quality pressures within the banking sector “have already begun to rise,” Fitch said. The rating agency recently downgraded the Indonesian banking sector’s outlook from stable to “negative," as it reviews an increasingly challenging operating environment. Fitch also said that rate cut might expose the rupiah to further weakening, after it depreciated by over 10 percent last year. The rupiah was traded at 13,852 against the US dollar on Tuesday and has fallen 0.46 percent so far this year. “One of the key questions now is whether the authorities will be tempted to use a significant part of the foreign exchange reserves to counter depreciation in the rupiah in the coming months,” it said. Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $105.9 billion in December, rising about 6 percent from the previous year, but was down from $111.9 billion at the end of December 2014.   [post_title] => Challenging Environment Likely to Hinder Higher Loan Growth: Fitch [post_excerpt] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/?p=494018 [post_type] => post [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-19 13:41:14 [post_date] => 2016-01-19 20:41:14 [post_name] => challenging-environment-likely-hinder-higher-loan-growth-fitch [author] => Tabita Diela [author_permalink] => /author/tabita-diela/ [category] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 227 [name] => Economy [slug] => economy [parent] => 120 [term_taxonomy_id] => 250 [permalink] => business/economy ) ) [permalink] => /economy/challenging-environment-likely-hinder-higher-loan-growth-fitch/ [meta] => stdClass Object ( [_edit_lock] => 1453210760:250 [_edit_last] => 250 [post_type_override] => NA [author] => Tabita Diela [post_writter_override] => 258 [post_source_override] => 258 [news_type] => National [news_source] => JG [jg_post_template] => 2col [featured] => false [_thumbnail_id] => 469417 [_yoast_wpseo_focuskw] => fitch [_yoast_wpseo_metadesc] => The move by Indonesia's central bank to cut its key rate is unlikely to significantly boost loan growth in the country, as commercial lenders are still pressured by asset quality and profitability, international rating assessor Fitch Ratings said in a statement on Tuesday. 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