From The Jakarta Post http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailbusiness.asp?fileid=20060211.L04&irec=4

Moody's may upgrade RI rating

The government welcomed S&P's credit rating outlook upgrade and is looking forward to similar decisions by other rating agencies, which would further boost the rupiah and support a US$1 billion global bond offering sometime next month.

Coordinating Minister for the Economy Boediono said that besides S&P, representatives from Moody's Investment Service had met with him to discuss their latest review on Indonesia's economy, signaling a possible rating upgrade.

"We expect Moody's to also revise its rating in a positive direction, hopefully before our global bond offering, as this would be reduce our borrowing costs," he said.

S&P currently rates Indonesia's foreign currency debt at "B+", which is two levels below investment grade.

Moody's rating, meanwhile, is one notch lower at B2 with a positive outlook, while Fitch Ratings is one notch higher than S&P at "BB-", also with a positive outlook.

Higher credit ratings and outlooks mean lower risk premiums on an issuer's debts, thus helping to lower borrowing costs.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry's director general of the treasury, Mulia P. Nasution, said that the planned global bond offering would be held in March.

"We will proceed with the global bond issue as scheduled," he said.

The government hopes to raise Rp 24.9 trillion in net proceeds this year from local rupiah-denominated bonds, overseas dollar-denominated bonds, and sharia-based sukuk bonds. Indonesia managed to raise a combined total of $2.5 billion from global bond issues in March and October last year. -- JP
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