Rupiah dip will boost Indonesian exports-FinMin

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Dennis L. Fiddle

Dec 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/15/97

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Friday December 12, 11:24 am Eastern Time

Rupiah dip will boost Indonesian exports-FinMin

NEW YORK, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Indonesian Finance Minister Mar'ie Mummamad
said he expected a highly competitive Indonesian export sector as a result
of recent currency depreciation.

``The exports (sector) is highly important,'' he told reporters at an Asia
Society event here.

The government has embarked on developing policies to boost exports,
Muhammad said.

A weak rupiah could hurt Indonesian companies with borrowings denominated in
foreign currencies. But it would help exporters, who would expect more
orders because their products had become cheaper on world markets.

Muhummad said Indonesian exporters, namely in primary products such as palm
oil and other commodities, are reaping the benefits of a lower currency.

He said he does not blame speculators for causing the rupiah's sharp
depreciation. Overnight, the rupiah recorded its largest ever one-day
plunge, falling nearly 11 percent to 5,225 per dollar before rebounding

In late morning New York trade, the Indonesian unit stood at 5000 per

Asked whether the Indonesian government would try to curb the currency
flight, Muhammad said, ``We will do something.'' He gave no specifics.

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