Reporter: Anna Suci Perwitasari | Editor: Anna Suci Perwitasari
KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Bank Indonesia on Thursday sold $15 million of term deposits to exporters via agent banks, in its first auction of the instrument aimed at persuading exporters to keep their proceeds at home longer and shoring up foreign exchange reserves.
The central bank sold only 1-month term deposits carrying a 4.64% rate, according to auction results.
It had offered 3- and 6-month deposits with rates of up to 5.2% during the auction, but those received no bids.
Twenty banks acted as BI's agents, receiving deposits from exporters and passing on funds to the central bank.
BI Governor Perry Warjiyo has previously said exporters had preferred to keep their funds offshore due to low interest rates at local banks, meaning Southeast Asia's largest economy saw no significant rise in FX reserves last year, despite exports hitting a record high of $292 billion.
Ahead of Thursday's auction, Edi Susianto, head of BI's monetary management department, told Reuters more exporters were expected to participate in later auctions as they were still calculating short term liabilities. BI would hold term deposit auction twice weekly at the early stage.
BI's offered rates were higher than rates given by Singaporean banks for similar tenures, which were between 4.12% to 4.68%, but the central bank's highest rate only matched 6-month U.S. Treasury bill rates, Bahana Sekuritas economists wrote in a note.
"We think it is still too early to conclude that BI's new FX instrument will be a game-changer to reverse dollar flows in the near-term," they said, arguing that global central banks were still continuing with rate hikes and Indonesian exporters may wait before deciding where to park their money.
Separately, the government is drafting a regulation that would require exporters of natural resources and derivative products to keep 30% of proceeds at home for three months. Officials have said the regulation will be issued soon.
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