BI injects $32.7b into financial system as rupiah strengthens

first_imgBank Indonesia (BI) has injected Rp 503.8 trillion (US$32.7 billion) into banks and the debt market to stabilize the rupiah and help support the government’s financing needs to combat the economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said that banks would be obliged to buy government bonds after the central bank freed up Rp 102 trillion in liquidity. Starting May 1, the reserve requirement ratio will be lowered by 200 basis points (bps) for commercial banks and 50 bps for sharia banks.BI’s policy to revoke banks’ obligation to fulfil the Intermediary Macroprudential Ratio (RIM) would add another Rp 15.8 trillion of liquidity, said Perry. “Fiscal policy will be crucial in channeling these funds into the real economy sector,” Perry told an online media briefing on Wednesday. “These quantitative easing measures taken by the central bank will fuel economic activities.”This is in addition to the Rp 386 trillion worth of liquidity freed by the central bank since the beginning of the year to support the country’s crashing currency and boost banks’ liquidity, Perry said.The central bank has bought Rp 166.2 trillion worth of government bonds in the secondary market as investors dumped Indonesian assets over fears about COVID-19, resulting in a slump in the value of the rupiah, which depreciated as much as 18.5 percent in early March.BI’s repurchase agreements (repos) with banks through government bonds as underlying assets has provided the financial system with Rp 137.1 trillion, while BI’s decision to lower the reserve requirement ratio since the beginning of the year has provided banks with Rp 53 trillion. Furthermore, BI’s monetary operations in the form of foreign exchange swaps has provided Rp 29.7 trillion, according to Perry.The rupiah has started to gain against the greenback over the last few weeks, strengthening to Rp 15,394 per US dollar as per 11 a.m. on Wednesday from this year’s low of 16,625 per US dollar, according to Bloomberg data.“The volatility of the rupiah is due to technical factors affected by the ongoing conditions,” Perry said, citing the country’s large-scale social restrictions and economic growth projections and other issues as “negative news”. “However, there are also positive factors such as successful bond sales by the government and the strengthening futures market in the US.”The central bank regards the current rupiah level as “fundamentally undervalued” and projects the country’s currency to reach Rp 15,000 per US dollar by the end of the year.Topics :last_img read more

Queensland wins eight national awards for housing prowess

first_imgQueensland builders picked up eight out of 21 possible awards at the Australian HIA Awards.QUEENSLAND has scooped the pool at this year’s HIA — CSR Australian Housing Awards, winning eight out of a possible 21 awards, proving the Sunshine State is leading the way in innovative housing design.HIA managing director Shane Goodwin said the Awards recognised outstanding achievement within the residential building industry. Space Constructions, based in Bulimba, won Australian Display Home for its Bulimba Parade home.The judges noted that the clever use of double-height glazing and a striking feature wall delivered a wow factor as the living area unfolds.Space Constructions joint principal Bob Antic said the living area was also his favourite part of the stunning home. Planbuild Homes “Australian Display Home” 2017.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoPlanbuild Homes marketing and design manager Niki McKay said the home showcased an area of the market that the company had taken under their wing.“We’re a project builder but we’re very good at that, so we can take a larger plan and customise it and turn it into something special,” she said.Ms McKay said the designs brief was to create a resort style home with dual recreational areas, with a resort style pool, media room, billiard room, spa, sauna, steam room and guest/family bedrooms on the lower level; while the upper level provided an informal living space and balcony showcasing the views.“We’re honoured by the nomination and win, there were some great builders and really beautiful homes,” she said.The judges were impressed by Epernay’s modern interpretation of the classic Hampton’s style home, saying it was perfectly designed to maximise the space of a smaller lot.Aria Property Group on Australian Apartment Complex for Botanica in South Brisbane. Space Constructions “Australian Display Home” of the year 2017.Mr Antic started Space Constructions around 10 years ago with joint principal Andy Tomic, and they joined forces with Hugo Design to work on the award-winning home.“The double height ceilings in the living room, with the fireplace and stone wall, and especially the feature timber ceiling, are probably my favourite features of the home,” Mr Antic said.He said he was genuinely surprised to win the award because it was a heavily contested award.“We’re very proud and pleased with the win as it’s a combination of many years of hard work and to be recognised by your peers as a relatively small company compared to other competitors, was a real surprise, Mr Antic said. Planbuild Homes, based in Kedron, won Australian Project Home for “Epernay” built overlooking the racecourse at Hendra.The creation of Planbuild Homes managing director Robert Thomson, the original floor plan was designed to fill a gap in the project home market allowing clients to enjoy a view from an upstairs living space.center_img ARIA Property Group’s “Australian Apartment Complex” 2017 for Botanica.The 20-level building, including six levels of car parking camouflaged by a living green wall, impressed the judges with its workmanship and comfortable communal spaces.JW Constructions won the Australian Renovation/Addition Project and James Thompson took out the Jim Brookes Australian Apprentice Award.Queensland winners;:Space Constructions — Australian Display HomePlanbuild Homes — Australian Project HomeJW Constructions — Australian Renovation/Addition ProjectAria Property Group — Australian Apartment ComplexEnigma Interiors — Australian Kitchen of the YearSublime Architectural Interiors — Australian Kitchen DesignKeir Constructions — Australian Specialised HousingJames Thompson — Jim Brookes Australian Apprenticelast_img read more

Saints cry foul as Reds win again

first_imgPhilippe Coutinho’s exceptional strike amid a series of controversial decisions from referee Kevin Friend helped Liverpool overcome Southampton 2-0 in what could prove a crucial result in the chase for a Champions League place. Brazilian Coutinho’s third-minute effort off the underside of the bar took the breath away of many at St Mary’s, where the home crowd focused as much of their ire – if not more – on Friend as the returning Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren. The latter got away with a handball towards the end of a first half which began with Filip Djuricic twice being taken down in the penalty box, yet Friend did not deem the challenges of Emre Can and Joe Allen to be fouls. Those frustrations were compounded by Southampton’s belief that Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet handled outside the penalty area in a first half which ended with the players departing to chants of “One-nil to the referee”. Liverpool also had a penalty appeal in the opening period but Jose Fonte appeared to get the ball in tackling Sterling, the man who wrapped up victory in the 73rd minute after Matt Targett made a hash of his clearance in wet and windy weather. Teenage defender Targett’s inclusion was one of three changes made by Ronald Koeman, while Liverpool counterpart Rodgers surprisingly started with Lovren and Lallana from the outset when many expected them to join fellow former Southampton man Rickie Lambert on the bench. More of a shock, though, was the tempo at which this match began, with just 17 seconds on the clock when Djuricic, making his first start for Saints, appeared to be pulled back by Can in the box. An already het-up home crowd were furious – frustration compounded in the fourth minute when Djuricic was again taken down, this time by Allen. Again, though, referee Friend saw no foul, with Eljero Elia’s follow-up strike saved. The latter call denied Saints the chance to level as Liverpool had made the breakthrough after just two and a half minutes. Press Association Coutinho did the damage and in some style, taking aim from 25 yards with a dipping drive which flew into the top left corner, clipping the underside of the bar. It was an exceptional goal and one the hosts were determined to cancel out. James Ward-Prowse struck wide, with Fonte seeing a tame header easily saved before denying Sterling at the other end – a fierce challenge which was rightly adjudged not to be a penalty. It was, however, a risky tackle in such poor conditions, and so too was the late challenge on Ward-Prowse which saw Lovren become the first player booked two minutes before the break. The former Southampton defender could have received another after handling in the box. There had been another potentially game-changing decision just before that when Mignolet raced off his line to block Elia, with Southampton convinced the ball clipped his hand outside of the area. Morgan Schneiderlin and Sadio Mane were introduced in a bid to help Southampton’s chances of a leveller, with the latter seeing a close-range strike blocked by Martin Skrtel after a wayward Graziano Pelle effort. Maya Yoshida’s quick reaction denied Daniel Sturridge at the other end, shortly after the England international replaced Lallana, who exited to boos from the home fans. Southampton, as in so many recent games at St Mary’s, were struggling to break down the opposition and fell further behind in the 73rd minute. Targett, back in the side after a head injury, slipped when attempting to clear a Alberto Moreno cross and Sterling pounced, firing past Fraser Forster. Dusan Tadic saw a low, 25-yard free-kick saved and Sturridge tested England colleague Forster as the game wound down, with Schneiderlin attempting an overhead kick before the final whistle saw Liverpool move within a point of the home side. There was no lack of vim and vigour on display in miserable conditions at St Mary’s, where Brendan Rodgers’ side moved within two points of the top four as the season enters the home straight. Raheem Sterling wrapped up the points by adding to Coutinho’s early wonder goal. However, Liverpool’s seventh win in 10 league matches might not have come about had referee Friend made different calls on a clutch of match-defining incidents. last_img read more

USG steps up efforts to reach out to students

first_imgEvery Wednesday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Undergraduate Student Government President Holden Slusher sits at a table on Trousdale Parkway, ready and waiting to answer questions about USG.“Anyone can come into my office hours, but we all know walking into a foreign office is intimidating, so that’s why it’s important to have it on Trousdale,” Slusher said.Slusher’s tabling, along with tabling by Vice President Ashlie Chan and a few USG senators, is part of an effort to reinvent USG’s public relations campaign and address concerns about students’ lack of familiarity with the organization.“We know that students know that we’re here, but what I want to do specifically is make what we actually do, whether that’s the events we plan or what we advocate for to administrators, [visible] to students,” said Paige Hill, senior director of communications for USG. “I don’t want to be just an organization that exists, I want students to know what we do on campus, and to increase student involvement.”With a wide-ranging list of events and activities that often receive very little attention from students, USG’s communications department has always had to come up with new ways of reaching out to students.Former USG Vice President Tony Jercinovich said the 2009-2010 administration’s tabling initiative is a step up from last year’s public relations efforts, which focused primarily on maintaining connections with campus media and reaching students through email listservs and conversations with their senators.Although last year’s officials tabled on Trousdale on an occasional basis, Jercinovich said he and other executive officers could have taken greater advantage of these techniques.“It may have been more useful to get out among students,” he said. “One of the major challenges USG faces every year is making itself known to the student body and even beyond that, that we provide a lot of services and we’re actually there to listen to what students have to say.”Charged with finding the most effective way to achieve this, USG’s communications department — including Hill, three assistant directors and Director of Outreach Chris Cheng, whose position is new this year — began its work over the summer with a focus on increasing USG’s social media presence and developing projects to be implemented during the fall semester.To help the communications department accomplish the new goals, the administration gave it a $5,000 boost in its overall budget for the year, USG Treasurer Ashwin Appiah said. The total communications department budget is $35,000.Those funds were redirected from the elections and recruitment committee budget after the administration determined USG’s annual elections carnival was no longer a sound investment, Slusher said.“[Last year] the elections carnival didn’t have that large of a turnout. It was mostly grad students, and not that that’s bad, but it’s not doing what it’s supposed to,” Slusher said. “So we gave that money to communications, and we wanted to make sure that we could do other things like [last Tuesday’s promotional event] the Hallowiener as a gift to students and to show them that we’re here for them.”The budget increase has allowed the communications department to program more promotional events like the Hallowiener — a USG-sponsored event held at Tommy Trojan that featured free food from Wienerschnitzel and a chance for students to meet USG executive officers, Hill said. In previous years, the department was rarely able to host events focused primarily on promotion due to its smaller budget, she added.Dannie Taylor, a junior majoring in communication and sociology, said the redirection of funds to events like Tuesday’s Hallowiener would help USG connect more to the student body.“I don’t see a problem with [the increased public relations budget] if it helps reach out to students because groups like USG will often be doing something, but students won’t know about it,” she said.But other students believe the budget increase is not the best use of students’ money.“I don’t understand why it’s necessary for them to have promotions,” said John Scott Gibney, a junior majoring in cinema-television production. “[The money] should be going more toward resources for students, like KSCR.”Besides communications efforts, the added funds have also contributed to USG’s outreach initiatives.According to Slusher, the volume of projects and responsibilities falling under the communications department was often too much for the department’s director to handle alone, so they created the new director of outreach position necessary to better pinpoint and respond to concerns like Gibney’s.Cheng said he and his committee are working to assess what students want from USG and to make those requests a reality.“My job isn’t just to be a trophy boy, but it’s more for people to know we’re here to help,” Cheng said. “It’s more for students to know we’re a resource, and they can give their input to see the change they want to see in the university.”Outreach committee initiatives include promotional street teams, comprised of students from different housing complexes on and around USC’s campus, and the planned Council of Presidents, which will invite the presidents of student organizations to learn about USG’s advocacy efforts and to provide feedback. The Council of Presidents is scheduled for November.Aside from working to increase USG’s campus presence, the communications department has focused on creating an online presence for itself with a Twitter account and Facebook event invitations.The department has also added a virtual suggestion box to the USG website and has distributed its weekly event summary, known as the Week-In-Brief, more frequently. In September, USG also began webcasting its weekly Senate meetings to improve the organizations’ transparency.Many of the communications department’s efforts have also gone toward more visible branding, which places the USG logo on items such as T-shirts, tote bags, sunglasses and highlighters, and uses these items as giveaways during events.Some students, like Ryan Woods, a junior majoring in cinema-television production, said the public relations changes have given them a better sense of USG’s role on campus.“I feel like they have more of a presence this year than last year,” he said. “I feel like I’ve just seen their name out there more, like in [Daily Trojan] headlines.”But for students like Gibney, USG’s increased public relations efforts have not changed their view of the organization’s purpose or reach on campus.“It’s pretty much the same. I’m part of a student club, so I’ve heard their name for funding, but outside of that, nothing,” Gibney said.Hill said she hopes to affect perceptions of USG by conducting frequent surveys to gather student feedback on the new initiatives and altering public relations methods accordingly. The communications department also plans to host another promotional meet-and-greet event similar to the Hallowiener in the spring, Hill added.“It’s a constant battle. As much as students want to know what USG is and what it does, there are avenues to do that but they opt out of them, but you have to respect what they want,” she said. “Until you’re involved in the organization, until you’re involved in USG, you’re not going to care.”last_img read more