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Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s forex reserves decline to $133.7 billion in October

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, November 6, 2020   /   03:37 pm
Indonesia’s forex reserves decline to $133.7 billion in October One-hundred US dollar bills are seen in this photo illustration. (AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski)

Indonesia’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves declined by US$1.5 billion in October to $133.7 billion due to the government’s foreign debt payments, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced on Friday.

The current reserves level was estimated to be enough to cover 9.3 months of imports and payments of the government’s debts, the central bank said.

“Bank Indonesia is of the view that the foreign exchange reserves are adequate, supported by stability and a positive outlook for the economy, in line with various policy responses to push for economic recovery,” the central bank said in a statement.

The government faces the formidable task of borrowing more than Rp 1 quadrillion ($70.12 billion) to cover the budget deficit of 6.34 percent this year as it rolls out a stimulus package intended to rescue an economy that is reeling from the pandemic.

Indonesia’s external debt, which includes government and private sector borrowings, was recorded at $413.4 billion in August, up 5.7 percent year-on-year, central bank data show. Overall public sector debt, which includes borrowing from the government and the central bank, reached $203 billion in August.

The central bank deemed the overall external debt level to be healthy, with the foreign-debt-to-GDP ratio recorded at 38.5 percent at the end of September, up from 38.2 percent in the previous month. Long-term loans account for 89 percent of the current outstanding debt.