RI has big hopes for ASEAN financing

30 April, 2012 | Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia will push for more intensive cooperation among the ASEAN member states to ensure sufficient provision of financing for infrastructure development in the region, the Finance Ministry says.

“We want to push for more financing mobilization coming from the region, whether from agreements or by inviting more investors to more actively investing in financial instruments within the region,” finance deputy minister Mahendra Siregar told reporters at his office in Jakarta on Thursday.
Mahendra also said that Indonesia would push its regional peers to formulate the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme as soon as possible.

“We hope the AIF organization can be effectively established starting next month,” he said.

The establishment of AIF is essential because it will provide financing support for infrastructure development projects that are funded by governments in the ASEAN region.

Mahendra said that Indonesia needed to focus on financing from within the ASEAN region because international financial institutions in other regions were still heavily affected by the eurozone crisis.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest Global Financial Report said that the ongoing crisis in Europe could force a number of global financial institutions to sell their assets.

According to the report, the recent important policy steps have brought much-needed relief to euro area financial markets, but nevertheless pressures on European banks remain, including from sovereign risks, weak euro area growth, high rollover requirements, and the need to strengthen capital cushions to regain investor trust.

“Together, these pressures have induced a broader drive to reduce balance-sheet size. Analysis in this Global Financial Stability Report suggests that large EU-based banks could shrink their combined balance sheet by as much as US$2.6 trillion through the end of 2013, or almost 7 percent of total assets,” the report said.

Responding to the IMF report, Mahendra said that the government would pay serious attention to this to determine the best measures to deal with the possibility of a lack of financing for infrastructure projects from global financial institutions, which could be severely affected by the crisis in Europe.

“We are going to take a serious look into any potential impact from the situation in Europe on our financial stability and our macroeconomic needs because European banks have been having a relatively significant impact on project refinancing programs in the Asian region due to their vast network here,” he said.

“As of now, we have not seen any serious impact on our project refinancing, but the aftermath of the European bank consolidation are beginning to show its true colors,” he added.


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