Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises Restructures PT Waskita Karya Tbk Due to High Debt Burden

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The Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises has initiated a restructuring process for PT Waskita Karya Tbk as the company faces a staggering debt burden of Rp82.4 trillion as of Q3/2022. This has resulted in a lack of capital to fund infrastructure projects, further exacerbating the situation.

Last Thursday, the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) temporarily suspended the trading of Waskita Karya shares, signaling the gravity of the company's financial burden. Trading of the company's stocks, bonds, and Sukuk in the capital market has been frozen as the company has delayed the payment of bond interest.

In addition, Waskita Karya is now facing legal action from business partners due to delays and cost overruns in infrastructure projects. For instance, two PKPU lawsuits have been filed by vendors at the Central Jakarta District Court since the beginning of this year. The lawsuits are related to the demand for the repayment of billions of rupiah in debt for several construction projects that the company has worked on with its partners.

Even the Deputy Minister of State-Owned Enterprises II, Kartika Wirjoatmodjo or Tiko, acknowledged that negative news about Waskita Karya will continue to circulate for some time to come. Tiko made the statement directly to the Indonesian Parliament's Commission VI a while ago, saying, "Maybe you have seen the news about Waskita in the last month, and it might not be pleasant for the next few weeks, but we are making efforts to negotiate to the fullest," as quoted on Wednesday (22/2/2023).

As the majority shareholder, the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises has not disclosed the main reason why Waskita Karya is burdened with such a massive debt, including unpaid interest. Many questions still linger among the media, including the possibility of corruption behind the company's financial problems.

There are indications of corruption related to the misuse of financing facilities from several banks by Waskita Karya and its subsidiary, PT Waskita Beton Precast Tbk. This case has implicated the former Director of Operations II of Waskita Karya for the 2018-2022 period, Bambang Rianto. In December of last year, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) named Bambang a suspect and subsequently detained him.

Bambang also served as the President Commissioner of Waskita Beton Precast, a subsidiary that also underwent legal proceedings in the form of a Suspension of Debt Payment Obligation (PKPU). However, the company eventually reached a settlement agreement with its creditors.

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