Australia evinces interest in backing Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund

Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

The Australian government has become the latest party to express interest in investing in Indonesia’s proposed sovereign wealth fund.

According to a report by IDN Financial, Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg conveyed his government’s interest during a bilateral meeting with Indonesian finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.

Frydenberg said that that the Australian government is considering investing in the Indonesian SWF through Australia’s superannuation fund.

The Indonesian government is known to have held dialogues on the proposed wealth fund, which is still in its early stages, with potential investors.

According to media reports, Indonesia is looking at raising $5-10 billion for its proposed sovereign wealth fund.

Late last year, Indonesia coordinating maritime affairs minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said Japan Bank for International Cooperation had expressed interest in helping Indonesia establish a sovereign wealth fund. Pandjaitan had earlier told reporters that he had discussed the idea of an Indonesia sovereign wealth fund with the United Arab Emirates.

Other investors reported to have evinced interested in the fund include SoftBank Group. and the U.S. International Development Finance Corp.

The idea to establish a sovereign wealth fund is said to have the backing of three government institutions – the Finance Ministry, the Investment Coordinating Board, and the State-Owned Enterprise Ministry.

According to previous reports, the proposed fund is said to be modelled after similar state vehicles established by neighbouring countries Singapore and Malaysia, which take equities in companies through their state-investment arms Temasek and Khazanah, respectively.

While there had been suggestions that the fund may look to invest in Indonesia’s burgeoning technology sector, DealStreetAsia sources have said that the fund will be focused on backing conventional businesses and projects such as infrastructure and energy projects.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.