Japan bought record Indonesian bonds in August

Neelabh Chaturvedi
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Indonesia, long in the market's crosshairs for its faltering economy and dependence on oil prices, had an unlikely backer as recently as August: Japanese investors.

Data released on Thursday showed Japanese investors purchased about $1 billion worth of rupiah-denominated bonds in August. That is the highest number on record, Morgan Stanley estimates.

Korea was another country whose bonds Japanese investors gobbled up in record numbers: roughly $800 million.

Here is a chart from Morgan Stanley showing the extent of the purchase of Indonesian debt in August:

It isn't yet clear if the support for Indonesian or Korean debt lasted beyond August.

Data released separately for the month of September showed Japanese investors bought more foreign bonds than they sold but a breakdown based on country won't be available until next month.

Indonesian local currency bonds and the rupiah have both fallen since August although markets have recovered a touch in recent days.

Read More Rupiah, ringgit ride higher on back of oil's rally

The move into Korean and Indonesian debt in August was part of a broader move into foreign assets, possibly reflecting some disappointment with the faltering local economy.

Japan bought $4.9 billion in 'other currency' assets in August, the largest monthly purchase since August 2014.