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Indonesia extends loan relief for some pandemic-hit sectors

INDONESIAN national flags fly at a business district in Jakarta, Indonesia, Feb. 5, 2021. — REUTERS

JAKARTA — Indonesia has extended loan forbearance for businesses such as accommodation as well as the textile and footwear industries that are yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s financial regulator said on Monday.

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has since March 2020 provided incentives to banks to restructure loans for debtors suffering during the pandemic.

“Most sectors and industries have recovered with a strong growth. However, based on our in-depth analysis, several exceptions were found due to the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” OJK said in a statement.

The new extension will last until March 2024 and will apply to businesses such as accommodation, food and beverage, and labor-intensive industries like textile and footwear, OJK said.

All micro, small and medium enterprises will also be eligible to the incentives, the regulator said.

The rules, which means lenders do not have to set aside provisions for souring loans, have helped prevent a spike in Indonesia’s non-performing loan (NPL) ratio. — Reuters

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