JAKARTA, April 28 (Reuters) - Indonesia has sold $4 billion of sovereign bonds in private placement and is in talks to borrow up to $750 million more from several development banks to fund its fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to government statements.
The government has raised 62.6 trillion rupiah ($4.05 billion) in sale of three series of bonds through private placement, the finance ministry said in a statement late on Monday, without saying who the buyers were.
Deni Ridwan, director of sovereign bonds at the finance ministry, said the buyers in the private placement sale were banks that were looking to meet the central bank’s new requirement of higher reserves in the form of government bonds.
Separately, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said Jakarta is discussing a loan of between $200 million to $250 million with the Islamic Development Bank, tapping into the lender’s $2.3 billion emergency fund for its members fighting COVID-19, according to a statement by the Cabinet Secretariat.
The government is also negotiating separate loans, of $250 million each, with the World Bank and the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, she said.
Indonesia has already obtained a $1.5 billion loan from the Manila-based Asian Development Bank for its COVID-19 response, which officials say carries a low interest rate.
The administration has also upsized its regular bond auction target as it seeks to cover its ballooning budget deficit due to increased spending for healthcare, welfare programmes and economic stimulus. The 2020 fiscal deficit is expected to reach 5.07% of GDP, the widest in more than a decade.
Authorities have relaxed rules to allow the central bank to buy sovereign bonds directly at the primary market, including through private placement and greenshoe option auctions.
As of Monday, Indonesia officially recorded a total of 9,096 coronavirus cases, with 765 deaths, but data of fatalities of patients with COVID-19-like symptoms from some of its largest provinces suggest the outbreak is much bigger. ($1 = 15,450 rupiah) (Reporting by Tabita Diela and Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)