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Rupiah volatility drives Indonesia's foreign debt increase

Jakarta Globe - April 19, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) reported that Indonesia's Foreign Debt (ULN) stood at $407.3 billion in February 2024, showing a 1.4 percent year-on-year increase. This growth surpassed the previous month's 0.2 percent year-on-year growth.

Erwin Haryono, Head of BI's Communication Department, said the weakening US dollar against global currencies, including the rupiah, influenced the ULN positions.

According to Erwin, the government's foreign debt is managed in a measured, efficient, and accountable manner. In February 2024, the government's ULN reached $194.8 billion, marking a 1.3 percent year-on-year growth, up from the previous month's 0.1 percent year-on-year growth.

The increase in foreign debt is mainly fueled by foreign loan disbursements, particularly multilateral loans, to support various government programs and projects. These loans are carefully managed to support expenditures in sectors like healthcare, social services, government administration, defense, education, construction, and financial and insurance services.

The government's foreign debt remains relatively safe and controlled, with almost all debts having long-term tenors, covering 99.98 percent of total government foreign debt.

On the other hand, private foreign debt continues to decline. In February 2024, it remained stable at around $197.4 billion, with a year-on-year contraction of 1.3 percent. This contraction is attributed to financial and non-financial corporations, each contracting by 1.3 percent year-on-year.

The majority of private foreign debt originates from sectors like manufacturing, financial and insurance services, electricity, gas, steam/air conditioning supply, and mining and quarrying.

Erwin noted that Indonesia's ULN structure remains healthy, with a ULN-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 29.5 percent, primarily composed of long-term ULN accounting for 86.9 percent of total ULN.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/rupiah-volatility-drives-indonesias-foreign-debt-increas