Indonesia consortium invests $1.3 billion in new capital

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A consortium of Indonesian companies, including energy firm Adaro and conglomerate Astra International, have invested about 20 trillion rupiah ($1.30 billion) in the country’s new capital city, according to the local authority.

Indonesia has been courting private investors in the $32 billion city, known as Nusantara, to move the capital away from congested Jakarta to Borneo island.

Aside from Adaro and Astra, the consortium also includes property firm Agung Sedayu Group, retailer Alfamart group, energy company Barito Pacific, conglomerates Sinarmas and Salim Group, among others, the Nusantara authority said in a statement late on Thursday.

It is unclear where all of the investment would go into, although on Thursday, visiting President Joko Widodo launched construction of a five-star hotel in Nusantara by the consortium.

The president, commonly known as Jokowi, in a speech said domestic investors must be prioritised over foreign investors.

“If not, I will get complaints,” Jokowi said, adding potential investors from South Korea, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates had visited the new capital and showed interest.

The government has said only 20% of the total budget will come from its coffers, the rest from private investment. Indonesia has earmarked 40.6 trillion rupiah ($2.64 billion) for the construction of Nusantara in its 2024 budget.

Jokowi said an airport at Nusantara was expected to be completed next year. On Friday, he launched construction of a soccer training centre.

Previously, hospital operator, Medikaloka Hermina, plans to invest 240 billion rupiah to build a hospital in the new capital and expects commercial operation by August 2024.

($1 = 15,380.0000 rupiah)

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto and Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Martin Petty)