CORRECTED-Indonesia halts Merrill Lynch's local stock trading

Sat Oct 6, 2012 3:57pm EDT

(Corrects to make clear Merrill Lynch declined to comment)

JAKARTA Oct 5 (Reuters) - Indonesia's securities depository agency has frozen Merrill Lynch Indonesia's stock trading account following a court order after a legal battle with an investor, a stock exchange official said on Friday.

Samsul Hidayat, a director at the stock exchange, said the exchange had received a letter from the Jakarta high court to suspend Merrill Lynch's account after a dispute between the brokerage and an Indonesian investor.

"We are only following orders from the court," Hidayat said, without naming the nature of the dispute or the investor.

Merrill Lynch, a unit of Bank of America Corp, declined to comment.

The stock exchange and the depository agency would wait for a court decision to reopen the account, Hidayat said.

Investment banks and brokerages have ramped up operations in Indonesia in recent years, aiming to take advantage of greater investor interest and surging markets in southeast Asia's top economy, which won an investment-grade credit rating late last year. (Reporting by Fathiya Dahrul; Editing by Matthew Bigg)

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