S&P boosts Indonesia’s credit rating after Widodo re-election

Indonesian President Joko Widodo casts his ballot during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. — Reuters pic
Indonesian President Joko Widodo casts his ballot during elections in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. — Reuters pic

JAKARTA, May 31 — Ratings agency S&P lifted Indonesia’s credit rating today, citing strong prospects for Southeast Asia’s biggest economy after the re-election of president Joko Widodo.

The upgrade comes after the elections commission this month confirmed Widodo’s victory in polls held on April 17.

His rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired military general, has challenged the results in court over allegations of widespread cheating.

But S&P said it expected the battle would not disrupt Widodo’s second term, after his initial tenure featured a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure push, including Jakarta’s first mass-rapid-transit system.

A stronger credit rating tends to lower a country’s international borrowing costs.

“We raised the ratings to reflect Indonesia’s strong economic growth prospects and supportive policy dynamics, which we expect to remain following the re-election of President Joko Widodo recently,” the ratings agency said in a statement.

S&P raised Indonesia’s rating to BBB from BBB-, as it also cited government efforts to keep debt and inflation in check.

The boost comes despite Indonesia’s economy growing more slowly than expected in the first quarter, as exports contracted for the first time since 2016 owing to softer demand for key commodities. — AFP

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