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Saturday, January 22 12:54 PM SGT

Indonesia's central bank not in the red: govt
JAKARTA, Jan 22 (AFP) -
Indonesia's finance minister Bambang Subianto told parliament's finance commission that central Bank Indonesia (BI) is not in the red and that it did not have to be recapitalized by the government as was once feared, reports said Saturday.

Subianto said late Friday that BI had 100 trillion rupiah (13.8 billion dollars) in a stabilization fund which had been wrongly listed on the liabilities side of BI's balance sheet.

"I've been told by the IMF that there is an item called the stabilization fund in BI which was put on the liabilities side," Subianto was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

"It is said that the total is 100 trillion rupiah. If this is true, Bank Indonesia is actually rich," Subianto said.

"Putting it on the liabilities side is wrong. It's actually a profit ... so it (the accounting system) must be revised. Don't worry. Bank Indonesia does not have to be recapitalised.

"What it needs is only an accounting readjustment," he said.

In late December the state's supreme audit board suggested the bank's books were in the red and on January 3 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that it could link further disbursements to speedy action on the audit report.

IMF Jakarta representative John Dodsworth said at the time that the "corrective action" would include some recapitalization, which should be included in the next letter of intent.

The audit report suggested BI was in the red because of the mishandling of billions of dollars in liquidity support used when it tried to keep the banking system afloat at the height of the 1997-98 financial crisis.

BI governor, Syahril Sabirin told the parliamentary committee that he agreed with Subianto's suggestion but that the amount had yet to be calculated, the Post said.

Deputy governor Miranda Goeltom said the stabilization fund could amount to 48 trillion rupiah.

The supreme audit agency had said in its audit report that some 80 trillion rupiah in liquidity funds could have been inappropriately channelled into sick banks.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary commission said it would summon senior finance officials of the time to investigate any possible abuse.

Subianto also said the government had no intention of withdrawing bonds already issued to BI to cover the liquidity support, because if it did BI would automatically debit the cash reserves from BI recipient banks.

"This would cause those banks to collapse. It would be much more costly," he said.

He was also responding to calls since the audit report was made public that taxpayers should not cover all the liquidity support extended.

na das hört sich ja nicht schlecht an.
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