Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) will "intensify intervention" to stabilize the local financial market by buying government bonds and the rupiah amid heavy selling pressure caused by coronavirus fears as Indonesia reports its first two cases.
BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said the central bank was conducting "triple intervention in the financial market": stabilizing the rupiah in the domestic non-deliverable forward (DNDF) and spot markets, as well as buying government bonds (SBN) on the secondary market.
The central bank has bought Rp 103 trillion (US$7.24 billion) worth of SBNs, Rp 80 trillion of which followed its assessment that the novel coronavirus may pose risks to Indonesia's economy.
"We've increased the volume [of intervention] so the market is assured and confident that BI is always in the market to guard the market," Perry said at a news conference on Monday after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announced first two coronavirus cases in Indonesia.
"BI will intensify intervention in the financial market through triple intervention to stabilize the rupiah to follow its fundamental [value]."
The rupiah erased losses of 0.6 percent after the announcement and traded 0.4 percent higher at Rp 14,260 to the US dollar.
Last week, foreign investors sold a net Rp 33.6 trillion (US$2.36 billion) in both Indonesian stocks and bonds, as $5 trillion was wiped off stock markets around the world in the worst week for global shares since the 2008 financial crisis.
Over the week, the benchmark stock index, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), fell 7.3 percent to 5,452 and the rupiah depreciated by 4.1 percent to 14,234 per US dollar. Ten-year Indonesian government bond yields, which indicate investment risk, rose 35 basis points last week to 6.83 percent, the third-biggest increase after Turkey and Russia.