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'Indonesia's central bank is planning to set caps on single-shareholder stakes in the country's commercial banks next month, in a move that could force some foreign investors to reduce their holdings and could delay the biggest-ever acquisition in the country.'

'Bank Indonesia likely will issue a regulation in May that would limit the stake that a single shareholder can hold in the country's commercial banks, Gov. Darmin Nasution said on Friday. Under current rules, an investor can own up to 99% of an Indonesian commercial bank. The flood of foreign acquisitions of Indonesian banks in recent years, however, has raised concerns among politicians over foreign control of the country's banking sector. Foreign firms already hold majority stakes in some of Indonesia's largest banks, including PT Bank Internasional Indonesia and PT Bank CIMB Niaga.'

'U.S. officials say privately that Indonesia, for all its growth potential, is now regarded as one of the hardest places to do business in Asia, and by far the most difficult in Southeast Asia.

Among the recent directives: A plan announced recently will force foreign importers of fruits and vegetables, including big U.S. apple growers, to ship all goods through remote ports hundreds of miles away from Jakarta, the country's main population center. Indonesian officials say they don't have enough capacity at Jakarta's main port to handle the goods, but U.S. officials say they believe the plan is designed to protect powerful domestic fruit distributors.

Other steps include a recent regulation to force foreign mining firms that often have to invest billions of dollars in the businesses to sell controlling stakes to Indonesians within 10 years of starting operations. Another regulation released recently dictated that foreigners wouldn't be allowed in many of the most important management positions of Indonesian companies.'
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