Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s foreign debt, which stood at US$407.5 billion in February, 2020, remains within the safe limit as government debt is overseen by the House of Representatives, said Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo.

"The government's foreign debt is related to the fiscal deficit. It is under normal condition through the House of Representative's approval," he said in an online press statement here on Wednesday.

Providing further details, he said the total foreign debt, as of February, 2020, comprised US$204.2 billion in private sector debt and US$203.3 billion in government debt, so, the total debt amounts to around Rp6,316.2 trillion (calculated at an exchange rate of 15,500 per US dollar).

Banks’ foreign debt is overseen by Bank Indonesia, he added.

Meanwhile, the BI requires the private sector to ensure prudent risk management and hedging practices when it comes to foreign debt, he continued.

Speaking about the government's plan to issue state securities (SBN) for handling COVID-19, he said the number of SBNs issued will increase and, at the same time, the purchase of SBNs by BI will also increase.

At present, he continued, SBN ownership by foreign investors has declined to 32 percent compared to 40 percent earlier due to capital outflows.

"Of course, there is a line of government policy that government foreign debt is sought at no more than 35 percent of GDP, and this is still safe. That is what has caused COVID handling to increase government debt,” he informed.

International rating agency Standard and Poor's (SnP) some time ago revised the outlook for Indonesia's debt from stable to negative on account of the increase in the fiscal deficit to 5.07 percent caused by higher spending in response to COVID-19 and rising foreign debt amid the coronavirus pandemic, he noted.

"We believe that Indonesia's foreign debt is safe and under control. If we see that SBNs will be issued by the government (and) at the same time, the ownership of SBNs by BI will also increase, we must calculate it in a net,” he said. (INE)

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Reporter: Dewa Ketut, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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