Talks to allow more access for Indonesian banks in Singapore "going well": BI official

Talks over allowing wider access for Indonesian banks in Singapore are proceeding positively between the central banks of both countries, according to a top Indonesian central bank official.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a global forum on Islamic banking on Monday, Bank Indonesia's (BI) deputy governor, Dr Halim Alamsyah, told reporters that such discussions were going well between BI and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

"We have quite good cooperation with MAS," he said.

"Our objective is to have close discussion and cooperation not just (about) the Danamon deal but also with other banks that have a commercial presence in both countries."

The talks were initiated after Singapore's DBS Bank made a move last year to buy Temasek Holdings' 67.4 per cent stake in Indonesia's Bank Danamon.

But instead of being allowed to buy the whole stake, BI gave approval for DBS to acquire only a 40 per cent stake, which analysts said was unfavorable for the Singapore lender.

BI said that approval for DBS to take a larger stake in Danamon will depend on the principle of reciprocity: that is, if Indonesian banks are also given wider access to Singapore.