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Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD informed the media during a press conference that authorities have seized 5.3 million sqm of land and property assets in various Indonesian cities, in order to recoup the state loans that were given to banks during the 1998 economic crisis and still stand unpaid. This move marks the first time the new task force, assembled by President Joko to recoup unpaid dues of up to $7.66bn to the state, has conducted seizures. Symbolically, the press conference was held on the seized land with a sign declaring that it has been taken over by the state. Mahfud stated that Lippo Karawaci and the erstwhile Lippo Bank had handed over the land to Indonesian Bank Restructuring Authorities to reduce debt. No other owners were named. Lippo Karawaci’s head of corporate communications, Danang Kemayan Jati, issued a statement outlining the firm’s support to “government’s efforts to restore state assets”. He further added that the land had been under government control for 21 years and that the company had no outstanding debt to the state as of today.

Bond prices of Theta Capital Pte Ltd, the overseas entity with Lippo Karawaci as guarantor, were unaffected by the news and have been trading higher this year, up 3.2% YTD.

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