Indonesian president tells bankers to cut lending rates, boost loans to SMEs

JAKARTA, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo told banking executives they should be lending more to small and medium enterprises at a time of slowing economic growth, while urging them to cut lending rates.

Widodo made the comments at a banking conference, a day after data showed Southeast Asia’s largest economy grew at its slowest pace in more than two years, or a rate of 5.02% in the third quarter.

“Don’t just finance the big players,” Widodo said to applause from his audience. “I repeat, don’t just finance the big players and don’t just finance the same players.”

He added, “I will keep notes of those of you who clapped.” (Reporting by Maikel Jefriando; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)