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Indonesia eyes more measures to ease rupiah volatility

Indonesia is planning to introduce more monetary measures to ease volatility.

Dody Waluyo, a director of planning and research at Indonesia's central bank, said there would be some instruments made available to the market soon.

The central bank officials said last week that the bank planned to sell short-term dollar term deposits to Indonesian banks next week, aiming at encouraging the country's lenders that have placed their export earnings in banks in Hong Kong and Singapore to park their funds in the domestic market.

Dody said that there would be more steps to be taken, but he could not disclose detail.

Foreign exchange and debt traders in Jakarta said concerns over the Greek debt crisis coupled with political uncertainty in euro zone countries were keeping the currency and debt markets under selling pressure.

"Bank Indonesia has been seen in the market. It will continue to guard the foreign exchange market," said one foreign exchange dealer in Jakarta who did not want to be identified.

Dody has said previously that the central bank will not set the rupiah at a fixed level against the dollar.

Foreign exchange dealers said the central bank would continue to intervene in the market and cut volatility in the currency. A weakening rupiah would boost export competitiveness but also drive up the cost of imports.

The government said on Monday that the rupiah would be assumed to trade in the range of 8,700 rupiah to 9,300 rupiah per dollar in the 2013 state budget. That compared with the 9,200 rupiah assumed in this year's state budget. The rupiah exchange rate is one of the six macroeconomic assumptions used to calculate the state budget.

Even so, debt and foreign exchange traders said overseas investors had been seen selling their holdings of high-yielding assets in Indonesia including bonds, prompting bond prices to fall.

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