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Indonesian banker named CEO of country’s new sovereign wealth fund, Economy News & Top Stories




JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday (February 16) announced the appointment of a senior banker, Ridha DM Wirakusumah, as managing director of the country’s new sovereign wealth fund, which aims to manage US $ 20 billion (S $ 26.4 billion) in funds.

Mr. Jokowi, as the chairman is popularly known, has also appointed other professionals for positions on the board of the fund, the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA).

The INA aims to attract foreign funds as co-investors, unlike some funds created by other countries to manage oil revenues or foreign exchange reserves.

Indonesian officials have previously said that bodies such as the US International Development Finance Corporation, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and some pension funds have expressed interest in investing in INA, with commitments totals reaching US $ 10 billion.

INA’s governance has come under scrutiny, especially following a corruption and massive loss scandal involving neighboring Malaysian fund 1MDB.

INA is a professional institution, protected by law and will use its professional judgment in its work, Jokowi said in circulated remarks, noting that a supervisory board and headhunters had helped select the executives.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told a virtual press conference that the president mandated the fund to avoid the fate of 1MDB by maintaining credible and sound governance.

Wirakusumah, trained in the United States, and until recently Managing Director of Permata Bank, has more than 30 years of experience in Indonesian and international companies, notably with the private equity group KKR & Co, American International Group. and Citibank.

We will carry out our duties strictly and clearly with the utmost integrity, Wirakusumah said, adding that the INA will be booted with US $ 5 billion from the government and that he expects about an additional US $ 10 billion to $ 15 billion in funding. the share of investors.

Mr Jokowi also appointed Arief Budiman, former CFO of state-owned energy company Pertamina, as deputy managing director, and Stefanus Ade Hadiwidjaja, managing director of private equity firm Creador, as investment director.

Marita Alisjahbana, chief risk officer at Citi Indonesia and Eddy Porwanto of private equity firm Northstar Pacific were also appointed directors.

The team has a solid background. This should receive a positive response from the market, said Nico Laurens, head of research at brokerage Panin Sekuritas.

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