A man takes a selfie in front of monitors showing share prices at Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta last Monday. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

What Is Behind the Fall of Banking Stocks Last Week?

BY :LISTYORINI

MAY 17, 2020

Jakarta. Shares of Indonesia's largest lenders dived last week amid massive sell-off by foreign investors, pushing some of the lenders' stock price to record low this year. 

State-controlled Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the country's largest lender by assets, saw it's shared closed at Rp 2,240 (16 US cents) per share, shy above its lowest price since 2015. The lender was now traded at 7.9 times of its earning and had been declined by 13 percent over the week. 

Rival Bank Mandiri dropped 10 percent to close at Rp 3,760, its lowest in more than six years. Meanwhile, shares of another state-controlled lender Bank Negara Indonesia ended the week at Rp 3,340, having declined by 12 percent since Monday. 

Bank Central Asia, the largest bank by market capitalization, also saw its shares price dropped 8.6 percent over the week to trade at Rp 23,925. 

Analysts said the government's decision to make the country's 15 largest lenders — which likely to include the four above — as so-called "anchor banks" have stoked the foreign hedge funds' concerns about the extend of bad loans problem in the country. 

RTI data showed that foreign investors sold Rp 1.8 trillion of their holdings in Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Rp 920 billion in Bank Central Asia, and Rp 274 billion in Bank Mandiri. 

The latest OJK data showed banks non-performing loans at 2.8 percent of the total loans in February, up from 2.5 percent at the end of last year but still well below the 5 percent cap required by the authority. 

The regulation, which came into force on Monday, said the government might channel funds to the anchor banks to help them, or smaller lenders that seek financing from those banks, to restructure bad loans. 

Hasan Zein Mahmud, the former president director of the Indonesia Stock Exchange, said banks were now facing a sharp decline in credit expansion and soaring number of non-performing loans and assets restructuring. 

"The government, BI, and OJK are aware of these prospects," Hasan said, referring to Bank Indonesia, the country central bank and the Financial Services Authority. 

"That is why BI and OJK are doing a lot of easing, stimulus, and quantitative easing," he said.

Bank Indonesia governor Perry Warjiyo said earlier that the central banks have been pumping Rp 504 trillion in additional liquidity to the local market through bond-buying programs and monetary and macroprudential policies easing.

The government has also earmarked Rp 70 trillion in the state budget for the lender's liquidity assistance. 

Hans Kwee, a director at an investment manager Anugerah Mega Investama, said the largest lender by assets would benefit from liquidity injection from the government.

"Bank shares should have risen because the anchor bank actually benefited [from the government's facility]," he said. 

Apart from getting the liquidity support, the anchor banks would also reap the net difference between the interest paid by smaller banks and the interests the anchor lenders paid to the government for the liquidity facility. Also, the Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS) would cover the lender's downside risk should the smaller banks defaulted on their loans. 

"We would see some competition among the anchor banks in getting the fund from the government," Hans said. 

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