S&P upgrades Indonesia credit after Widodo election win

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2013, file photo, a customer holds a stack of rupiah banknotes at a money changer in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has upgraded Indonesia’s sovereign credit rating following the election of Joko Widodo to a second term as president. The organization said the upgrade reflects Indonesia’s strong economic growth prospects which “we expect to remain following the reelection of Joko Widodo recently.” (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana, File)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Friday it has upgraded Indonesia's sovereign credit rating following the election of Joko Widodo to a second term as president.

The organization said the upgrade reflects Indonesia's strong economic growth prospects, which "we expect to remain following the reelection of Joko Widodo recently."

The long-term rating was increased to BBB from BBB minus and potentially makes it easier for the government to borrow abroad and at lower interest rates.

Official results last week confirmed Widodo won 55.5% of the vote in the April 17 election. His opponent Prabowo Subianto has alleged massive fraud but not provided any credible evidence. The Subianto campaign has submitted a Constitutional Court challenge to the election result.

"Although this dispute and isolated pockets of unrest associated with it add some uncertainty to Indonesia's political settings over the near term, we do not expect it to have a material impact on the long-term policy environment or economic outlook," S&P said.

Seven people were killed in what police said was orchestrated rioting in the capital Jakarta last week following announcement of the official results.

The ratings agency said Indonesia's per capita economic growth has averaged 4.1% over the past decade compared with an average of 2.2% for countries at a similar income level.

Analysts forecast the country, the world's fourth most populous, to be among the biggest economies by 2030.

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