"This development was driven by a decline in the government's foreign debt position," Head of the Communication Department of Bank Indonesia (BI) Erwin Haryono noted in an official statement in Jakarta, Friday.
On an annual basis, external debt (ULN) in the first quarter of 2021 grew by seven percent (yoy), or higher than 3.5 percent (yoy) in the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, the government’s external debt position in the first quarter of 2021 amounted to US$203.4 billion, or 1.4 percent (qtq), lower than the position in the fourth quarter of 2020, partly due to the repayment of loans maturing during the January-March 2021 period.
On an annual basis, the government’s external debt position in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 12.4 percent (yoy), or higher than 3.3 percent (yoy) in the previous quarter.
This was supported by the maintained confidence of foreign investors that drove capital inflows into the domestic Government Securities (SBN) market.
Moreover, the government had withdrawn some of the foreign loan commitments from bilateral, multilateral, and commercial institutions in a bid to support the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the National Economic Recovery Program (PEN).
"The government’s external debt is still managed carefully, credibly, and accountably to support priority spending," he remarked.
This comprises the public administration, defense, and compulsory social security sectors, with a share of 17.7 percent of the total government external debt, followed by the human health and social work activities sector at 17.1 percent, the education service sector at 16.2 percent, the construction sector at 15.3 percent, and the financial and insurance sector at 12.9 percent of the total government external debt.
According to BI, the government’s external debt position in the first quarter of 2021 is relatively safe on account of the fact that almost all of it was long-term external debt, with a share of 99.9 percent of the total government external debt.
Furthermore, private external debt in the first quarter of 2021 was recorded at 2.3 percent (yoy), or decelerated from 3.8 percent (yoy) in the previous quarter.
This slowdown was caused by slackening growth in external debt of non-financial institutions that grew at 5.2 percent (yoy), lower than 6.6 percent (yoy) in the previous quarter.
In addition, the external debt of financial institutions also contracted further to minus 7.1 percent (yoy), from minus 5.7 percent (yoy) in the previous quarter.
With this development, the position of private external debt in the first quarter of 2021 reached US$209.4 billion, or 0.6 percent (qtq) higher than the position in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Sectors with the largest private external debt share, at 77.4 percent of the total private external debt, were the financial services and insurance sector; the electricity, gas, steam & air conditioning supply sector; the mining and quarrying sector; and the manufacturing sector.
The debt structure remained dominated by long-term external debt, accounting for 78.2 percent of the total private external debt.
"Indonesia's external debt structure remains healthy, supported by the application of the prudential principle in its management," he stated.
Indonesia's external debt was under control in the first quarter of 2021, reflected in the maintained ratio of Indonesia's external debt to GDP at 39.1 percent, or a decrease as compared to the previous quarter's ratio of 39.4 percent.
In addition, Indonesia's external debt maintained a healthy structure dominated by long-term external debt accounting for 89 percent of the total external debt. Related news: Indonesia's foreign debt swells 4% to $422.6 bln in Feb
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