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Indonesia Limits Foreign Dealings in Rupiah

September 01, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Indonesia announced new restrictions on foreign-exchange dealings after the value of its currency, the rupiah, was battered last week. The country's central bank tightened controls on trades by Indonesian banks on behalf of foreign customers or non-bank customers. Bank Indonesia didn't disclose the reason for the move, but analysts said it was an attempt to limit the rupiah's fall against the U.S. dollar amid speculative attacks on several Southeast Asian currencies. The rupiah has lost about one-fourth of its value against the dollar since the beginning of the year. The drop was accelerated after Bank Indonesia loosened restraints on the currency, which put new pressure on the already suffering Thai baht, Malaysian ringgit and Philippine peso. On Friday, the rupiah, ringgit and peso all hit record lows against the dollar and Indonesia's main stock index dropped 6.9 %.

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