Indonesia's credit rating raised to investment grade by S&P
20 May, 2017, 00:40
Indonesian officials told S&P officials who visited Jakarta earlier this year that the credit rating agency was already late making an upgrade.
Standard & Poor's raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade Friday, in line with the other two major rating agencies, in a move likely to attract more investment into Southeast Asia's top economy. A rating upgrade usually also means an economy can get cheaper borrowing costs when it issues bonds.
The sovereign rating was lifted to BBB- from BB+ with a stable outlook and improvement in state's development budget.
The Jakarta Composite Index jumped as much as 3.2 percent to a record 5,825.2, extending gains this year to nearly 10 percent. The rupiah also rallied against the dollar.
S&P had previously cited a host of concerns, such as a failure to implement much-needed policies to help the economy, for their reluctance in giving Indonesia an investment grade rating. It gave Indonesia a positive outlook in May 2015 for President Joko Widodo's bold move to remove gasoline subsidies.
Since then, Widodo reshuffled his cabinet and appointed respected reformist, former managing director of the World Bank, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, as his finance minister.
She then ran a tax amnesty program that many said was the world's most successful and is now overseeing a plan to overhaul the taxation system.
"From a macro stance, the S&P upgrade is positive as this will further reduce the country's cost of funds which is relatively expensive vs its peers in the region", said Bharat Joshi, investment director at Aberdeen Asset Management in Jakarta. The central bank will seek to maintain stability "to support the continuation of structural reforms taken by the government and the development of a sustainable and inclusive economic growth", Governor Agus Martowardojo said in a statement.
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