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By Elizabeth Pisani
364 words
5 February 1991
Reuters News
(c) 1991 Reuters Limited

JAKARTA, Reuter - Indonesia's finance minister said on Tuesday he had reviewed a blueprint for privatising the Jakarta stock exchange and stockbrokers should be invited to apply in the next few weeks to set it up.

"I hope (their) applications can be submitted and approved very quickly so that we can move ahead with the realisation of the new stock exchange company," Johannes Sumarlin told a financial markets conference.

But one member of the group of eight brokers, bankers and economists that drew up the business, automation and trading plan for the new exchange was doubtful things could move so quickly.

"I think Sumarlin would like to see the exchange privatised by April but there's still quite a bit of political opposition," he said.

Another economist said he believed the state-run capital markets regulatory board Bapepam, which now runs the exchange, was dragging its feet over privatisation.

A package of new rules issued in December paving the way for the privatisation of the stock market was praised by brokers, but Bapepam has yet to issue the supporting rules to implement it.

Bapepam chairman Marzuki Usman told the conference the new law fundamentally changed his agency's role, greatly expanding its supervisory powers but giving responsibility to underwriters, lawyers and other professionals.

"The government no longer licenses new issues, but only requires that public offerings be registered. Underwriters and issuers must now assume full responsibility for disclosure of all material facts that investors need to make an informed decision," he said.

But Sumarlin said ultimate control rested with the government. "Self-regulation is important ... The government however will retain final authority over licensing, rules, standards and practices in order to protect investors and the nation's interests."

Nono Makarim, a lawyer specialising in capital markets law, told the conference the new rules would put too much burden on professionals.

"It is not fair for professionals supporting the capital markets. We can't come up to expectations because of the lack of the most basic infrastructure that is the norm elsewhere," he said, citing the lack of even a central register of companies.


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