Year 2015 is a year of open market for all ASEAN countries, where trading borders between these countries are reduced and market becomes more permeable. As the Minister of Economy, Chairul Tanjung stated to media that he supports the plan of acquisition PT Bank Mandiri Tbk toward Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), in order to form one powerful red plate bank that will be ready to help Indonesia face ASEAN Economic Community open market era in 2015.
His decision is a response toward the refusal of most BTN employees about acquisition plan, which resulted in the cancellation of the plan.
Why Chairul Tanjung Supports Acquisition Plan
Despite the fact that Mandiri has decided not to do acquisition plan toward BTN, Chairul Tanjung is still very open about the idea of creating one powerful bank to support Indonesia in ASEAN open market. According to him, there are ten banks that have been appointed as main financial servers at ASEAN Economic Community, but none of them is from Indonesia. Therefore, to increase the competitiveness of Indonesian market, a powerful bank is necessary. PT Bank Mandiri original plan to acquire BTN was an effort to create a more powerful bank to face ASEAN Economic Community.
He also said that the plan was not something wrong or against the regulation, and very important to support the future economic condition in Indonesia amidst competition with other ASEAN countries. However, he also respected the latest decision between Mandiri and BTN to reconcile their power through different agenda.
Acquisition Plan and Rejections
The acquisition plan of Mandiri toward BTN was initiated by Dahlan Iskan, but it was rejected by the majority of BTN employees for fear of massive firing. The plan was initially made to turn the two national banks into one powerful international bank, which can represent Indonesia in ASEAN Economic Community in year 2015. This is because ASEAN countries are urged to have one strong international bank to get involved in the open market.
According to Chairul Tanjung, it should be an important step in the future to support Indonesia’s government during the ASEAN open market era. However, until now, he still does not take any drastic stand or release strong opinion about the latest decision between two banks, because he does not want to release statement that will affect the stability of both banks’ stocks. Currently, the two banks are working on better plan and agreement to face the new open ASEAN market era.