JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) — New York-based JP Morgan Chase & Co was reappointed as a primary dealer of Indonesian sovereign bonds, more than a year after the U.S. financial services and retail banking group was banned from doing business with government entities over a negative research.
The bank was back on the list of the 20 primary dealers of government bonds, Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Sunday (30/04). Other dealers consist of securities firms and banks.
According to the Ministry’s statement, JPMorgan’s reinstatement is effective from today.
In a meeting with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta on Wednesday, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon highlighted his optimism on Indonesia’s economy. He had a 45 minutes meeting with the president discussing various topics, including on investment, bureaucratic reform and cyber security.
“I believe President Jokowi has made a great job for Indonesia and for all of its people,” he told reporters on Wednesday after attending the meeting.
JPMorgan’s reinstatement was announced when the country is seeing capital outflows from the country’s stocks and bonds after the recent increase in the U.S. Treasury yields prompted investors to repatriate their assets into the save haven country.
The Insider Stories see the MoF’s move to bring back JPMorgan as a strategy to help attract international investors for Indonesian assets, especially amid volatile times.
JPMorgan had been a key dealer, along with Deutsche Bank and Citi, in selling Indonesian government bonds.
The MoF cut ties with the global banking group in January 2017 after it downgraded the nation’s equities by two notches. After the ban, JPMorgan subsequently upgraded stocks from Indonesia, thanks to improved macro-economic conditions, but the Ministry maintained the ban.
Because of the ban, JPMorgan has missed out on being part of the Indonesian government’s fund-raising program last year. Last year, Indonesia raised US$4 billion from selling global bonds, including in yen-denominated, euro-denominated and US dollar.
This year, the MoF is set to raise Rp 856.5 trillion this year from selling conventional bonds and Islamic bonds this year in the local market or in international market through foreign denomination like dollar, euro and samura bonds.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati recently instructed her team to maintain attractiveness of the country’s portfolio assets, amid pressures on the currency.
Meanwhile, since last month, the central bank has been battling the currency depreciation through interventions in the markets. This has been one of the causes of the country’s foreign exchange reserves to decline by $2.06 billion to $126.0 billion at the end of March.
The rupiah is likely to see further pressures as more dollar may leave the country as the government need to pay a significant amount of foreign debt while companies also may distribute dividends. Many corporate investors in Indonesia comes from overseas.