April 24, 2020 / 5:21 AM / a month ago

Indonesia utility PLN says not seeking to delay debt payments

JAKARTA, April 24 (Reuters) - Indonesian state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) will not seek to defer payments on its commercial loans or bonds, the utility said late on Thursday, contradicting a statement by its chief executive to parliament a day earlier.

Chief Executive Zulkifli Zaini on Wednesday told parliament the utility was asking banks if debt payments due this year can be delayed until next year.

PLN has also trimmed its 2020 revenue target by nearly 15% to 257 trillion rupiah ($16.63 billion) as social curbs to control the novel coronavirus outbreak hit demand, Zaini, a former banker, told parliamentarians.

In response to news of Zaini’s remarks, PLN said in a statement its financial conditions were well maintained.

“PLN has no plan to and is not under negotiation to delay its performance obligations or re-profile its commercial loans,” Chief Financial Officer Sinthya Roesly said in the statement, adding that all liabilities have been paid in due time so far.

“PLN has adequate liquidity condition and standby loan facilities to be used at any time in fulfilling its obligations,” she said.

News of fully state-owned PLN seeking a deferral in loan payments had alarmed investors.

Earlier this week, at least two fund managers raised the question of government support for PLN during a conference call hosted by Indonesia’s central bank and finance ministry. A finance ministry official had replied the government was committed to supporting the utility.

PLN data showed the company had about 161 trillion rupiah of short-term liabilities at the end of last June, including short-term bank loans. ($1 = 15,450 rupiah) (Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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