January 30, 2013 / 10:06 AM / 5 years ago

Indonesia c.bank checking on offshore currency fixing

JAKARTA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The Indonesian central bank has asked some of its departments to look into reports of manipulation in Singapore’s offshore currency market but has not decided whether to join in any efforts with its Singaporean counterpart on the matter, a source close to the issue said on Wednesday.

Internal reviews by banks in Singapore have found evidence that traders colluded to manipulate rates in the offshore foreign exchange market, including for Indonesia’s rupiah, Reuters reported on Monday.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) mandated the reviews of the fixing process last year at banks that help to set local interbank lending rates and currency non-deliverable forward (NDF) rates in the city state.

“Some departments have been asked to check. But I don’t know whether BI (Bank Indonesia, the central bank) will have a cooperation with MAS or not,” the source said.

Bank Indonesia Executive Director Hendar added that the central bank was following the media reports over the issue.

“But so far there is no investigation being held by BI, though, of course, BI is concerned over the issue,” Hendar told Reuters.

MAS has not commented on the findings of the banks’ probes in Singapore.

The focus is on rates in the Singapore market for NDFs, which offer a way to trade regional currencies such as the rupiah and the Malaysian ringgit while avoiding government controls on those currencies.

The emergence of the reports on possible rate fixing in the offshore forwards markets come as Indonesia’s own currency has been repeatedly buffeted in currency markets, becoming Asia’s worst performing currency last year. (Reporting by Adriana Nina Kusuma; Writing by Jonathan Thatcher; Editing by Michael Flaherty and Edmund Klamann)

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