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Announcement:

Moody's says new finance minister appointment supportive of Indonesia's credit profile

24 May 2010

Singapore, May 24, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service says that the appointment of Mr. Agus Martowardojo as Indonesia's new finance minister on May 19 -- replacing Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati -- could re-invigorate the improving trend evident in Indonesia's sovereign credit profile.

"The key elements of likely credit support would derive from various considerations, including those of a political nature and those related to the actual career and experience of Mr. Martowardojo," says Aninda Mitra, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

"Politically, the appointment may represent a stable compromise between the government and its main coalition partners, and whose political relationship has proven more contentious than expected," says Mitra. "As such, with this appointment, key fiscal policies and budget management goals are not expected to shift significantly from the appropriate positions set by the outgoing finance minister."

"In terms of Mr. Martowardojo himself, he is well regarded by the financial markets on account of his successful career as a banker and as a reformer of state-owned financial institutions; in particular, he is well known for his strong management abilities and personal integrity," says Mitra. "These credentials could support the prioritization of second-generation reforms to deepen Indonesia's domestic markets, improve governance, and heighten transparency and accountability in the public sector."

Moreover, given his long career as a banker as well as his familiarity with the financial and capital markets, the new minister could boost coordination between the Finance Ministry and Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank. Such a development would in turn strengthen the broader institutional setting for overall economic management in Indonesia.

Moody's notes that Indonesia's political and financial system as well as its government finances have come a long way since the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

The country's economy and credit fundamentals have proven resilient in face of the global economic crisis of the last two years and the preceding series of commodity shocks.

Accordingly, Moody's has implemented two sovereign ratings upgrades for Indonesia since October 2007 and these were in an environment where many skeptics doubted the country's policy fundamentals and financial stability.

Against this backdrop, Moody's view is that a deepening of the country's domestic markets and/or a healthier, and stable, external payments position are key to complementing and sustaining headline improvements in credit ratios, anchoring market confidence, and maintaining the improving trajectory of the sovereign rating.

However, the broader thrust of reform has become ensnared in personalized political rivalries, and which pit reformists within the government against entrenched business and political interests.

As such, this particular transition at the Finance Ministry could ensure policy continuity, represent a stable political compromise, and enhance policy coordination between fiscal and monetary authorities. These developments could in turn continue to provide lift to Indonesia's credit fundamentals.

Moody's has a Ba2 rating with a stable outlook for Indonesia.

The principal methodology used in rating the government of the Republic of Indonesia is Moody's Sovereign Bond Methodology, published in September 2008 which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

Singapore
Aninda S. Mitra
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Soverign Risk Group
Moody's Singapore Pte Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 2916-1150
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Singapore
Thomas J. Byrne
Senior Vice President - Regional Credit Officer
Sovereign Risk Group
Moody's Singapore Pte Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: (852) 2916-1150
SUBSCRIBERS: (65) 6398-8308

Moody's says new finance minister appointment supportive of Indonesia's credit profile
No Related Data.
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