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Source: Reuters

UPDATE 3-Indonesia to front-load global sukuk, samurai bonds

Published: 13 Jan 2010 00:25:17 PST

* Indonesia to offer planned samurai, sukuk in H1

* Global market to be "less favourable" in H2: official

* Funds rushing in on upbeat economy, political stability (Updates with more comments on pricing, outlook)

JAKARTA, Jan 13 - Indonesia plans samurai bond and sukuk offerings in the first half of the year before market conditions turn sour, a finance ministry official said on Wednesday hours after Jakarta sold $2 billion of dollar bonds.

Indonesia sold 10-year U.S. dollar-denominated bonds on Tuesday New York time as Southeast Asia's biggest economy capitalises on its popularity with global investors while taking advantage of low interest rates. [ID:nTOE60B08G]

The offer attracted more than double the amount in orders, with U.S. investors taking up nearly half of the supply, a source said.

"The global debt issues -- in bonds, sukuk and samurai -- will be made in the first half as part of a front-loading strategy in anticipation of market conditions turning less conducive in the second half," Rahmat Waluyanto, head of the finance ministry's debt unit, said in a text message.

He described the result of Tuesday's bond sale as "very good". The 10-year debt was sold at a yield of 6 percent, or 227.9 basis points over comparable U.S. Treasuries, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters service.

Indonesia sold the bonds at a wider spread than similarly rated Philippines, which last week sold its 10-year bonds at 183.7 basis points over Treasuries, which analysts said reflected expected bigger supply from Jakarta this year.

Sources had said Indonesia planned to raise a total of about $4 billion this year, including up to $1 billion in samurai bonds in Japan, in an increasingly crowded international market.

Investors are anticipating a flood of sovereign dollar bond offerings from several countries early on because interest rates are expected to rise later this year.

However, China's tightening of bank reserve requirements on Tuesday, raised the possibility that borrowing costs around the world will start creeping up sooner than earlier thought, making it harder for Jakarta to time and price its next debt issues.

"Whether they will get a good price depends a lot on the outlook for global monetary tightening," said Enrico Tanuwidjaja, strategist at OCBC Bank in Singapore.

GROWING CONFIDENCE

Jakarta sold its dollar bonds against the backdrop of strong foreign demand for its domestic rupiah bonds, fuelled by bets on healthy economic recovery, with growth seen picking up to 5.5 percent this year from 4.3 percent in 2009.

The yield on the 2019 dollar bonds <ID041537523=RRPS> sold last year has more than halved to 5.8 percent since March 2009, while foreign holdings of Indonesian local currency bonds rose by more than one-fifth last year.

The rupiah <IDR=>, last year's top performer in Asia with a 17 percent gain against the dollar, climbed further 3 percent so far this month.

Indonesia is among the Group of 20 leading economies, although international credit ratings agencies keep its debt two to three notches below investment grade, citing widespread corruption as one of the main concerns.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's resounding win in last year's elections convinced investors that efforts to root out graft will continue, but some sceptics say it will take much time before they bring tangible effects.

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