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Petrochemical company PT Trans Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI), part of the Tuban Petro Group, has denied it has substantial bad debts with troubled Bank Mutiara.

The bad debts have reportedly caused the bank to suffer further financial difficulties.
TPPI finance director Basya G. Himawan dismissed on Tuesday previous media reports that TPPI was one of Mutiara’s “high-profile” debtors. “TPPI has never obtained financing from any local bank, including Mutiara,” he said.

According to Basya, the company has been mistakenly connected to the lender because of the past history of its previous owner and president director, Honggo Wendratno.

Honggo had been responsible for running up a large amount of bad debt that contributed to the demise of Bank Century — the former name of Mutiara — in 2008.

Back then, Honggo — known to have close ties with Robert Tantular, Century’s owner — acted as the obligor for loans channeled by the bank to PT Selalang Prima International, PT Polymer Spectrum Sentosa, PT Catur Karya Manunggal and PT Trio Irama.

According to Bank Mutiara’s financial reports, the amount of loans to the four companies exceeded Rp 411 billion (US$33.65 million) and was equal to almost 50 percent of Century’s non-performing loans.

Century was rescued by the government in a controversial Rp 6.7-trillion bailout in 2009. It is now 99.9 percent controlled by the Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS) and is slated to be sold at auction next year.

However, the loans, coupled with bad loans to Tantular’s PT Enerindo, put Mutiara in the hot water again this month as the LPS was forced to inject Rp 1.25 trillion in additional capital into the bank to meet Bank Indonesia’s minimum capital requirement.

With the capital injection, the bank’s capital adequacy ratio now stands at 14 percent and matches its risk profile.

Honggo lost control of TPPI when the company was taken over by the government in late 2012 after it failed to pay its debts to state-run oil and gas firm PT Pertamina and state asset manager PT Perusahaan Pengelola Aset (PPA). The government now has a 52-percent stake in TPPI.

The Jakarta Post’s sources, who declined to be named due to their familiarity with the issue, confirmed that the Century loans were not made on behalf of TPPI at the time, but on behalf of Selalang, Polymer, Catur and Trio. “No credit was disbursed to TPPI,” one source said.

TPPI’s financing from the banking sector was currently generated only from Singapore-based UOB, Basya said.

He added that as part of restructuring process, TPPI’s $1.8 billion debt had been reduced to $888 million, $500 million of which belonged to the government.

When contacted, Mutiara corporate secretary Rohan Hafas said that the bank planned to meet with TPPI soon to discuss the matter. “We regret that debts issued when Honggo acted as the obligor were not included under TPPI’s restructuring plan,” he said.

Separately, BI spokesman Difi Johansyah said that the central bank would continue to monitor Mutiara’s own debts restructuring. “It is underway and is under our supervision,” he said.

sumber: Jakarta Post, Thu, December 26 2013, 10:46 AM