Standard & Poor's raises Indonesia credit rating

A city bus crew member stands next to his vehicle as he is illuminated red by the tail lights of other vehicles in rush hour traffic in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, May 19, 2017. Standard & Poor's raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade on Friday in recognition of a stable governing coalition and improved control over government finances. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
A cyclist is illuminated by the tail light of a car as he makes his way through the rush hour traffic in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, May 19, 2017. Standard & Poor's raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade on Friday in recognition of a stable governing coalition and improved control over government finances. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Standard & Poor's raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade on Friday in recognition of a stable governing coalition and improved control over government finances.

The ratings agency said the long-term rating was raised to "BBB minus," which signifies adequate ability to repay national debts, from "BB plus," which indicates a country is vulnerable to default.

The upgrade is a boost for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, a maverick politician from outside the usual governing elite who has made improving infrastructure in the sprawling Indonesian archipelago his signature policy.

"The government has built a political coalition with a parliamentary majority. Despite the government having a greater number of political parties, it has managed to appoint individuals who are generally viewed as competent to the key economic ministerial positions," S&P said a statement.

Until now, S&P was the only major credit rating agency to not assign Indonesia an investment grade rating.

The ratings can influence a country's ability to attract foreign investment and upgrades can lower the cost of borrowing in foreign currencies.

Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country, with more than 250 million people, and a member of the G-20 bloc of major industrial and developing economies. Poverty and malnutrition remain significant challenges for the country despite solid economic growth of about 5 percent a year.

S&P said corruption continues to be a problem in Indonesia and has "stunted" investment but it praised the overall stability that has emerged in Indonesian society following the chaotic end of decades of military dictatorship in 1998.

"News and information generally flow freely in Indonesia, with key policy and other changes well publicized and debated," it said.

You may also interested in

Indonesian gets 6 years for smuggling migrants to...

Mar 16, 2017

An Indonesian court has sentenced a people-smuggling kingpin to six years in jail for organizing a...

Indonesia arrests man who bought orangutan,...

Apr 4, 2017

Indonesian police say they saved a sun bear, a clouded leopard and a baby orangutan from the...

Standard & Poor's raises Indonesia credit...

May 19, 2017

Standard & Poor's has raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade in...

Police investigate Indonesian president's son for...

Jul 6, 2017

Police are investigating an allegation of blasphemy against the youngest son of Indonesia's...

Indonesia bans Hizbut group that seeks global...

Jul 19, 2017

The Indonesian government has banned Hizbut Tahrir, an organization that wants to establish a...

News

Sign up now!