A proposal by Indofood Sukses Makmur, Indonesia’s largest noodle producer, to buy back assets worth US$541.4m, is being studied by the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA), which says that it simply may not be possible.

The assets were pledged to repay debts to the government. However the parent conglomerate, the Salim Group, has elicited condemnation from the chief economics minister after it was revealed that assets were already being bought back from IBRA while government debts were delayed. Rizal Ramli argued: “They claimed to have no money to repay their debts, but they could buy assets.”

Salim Group’s debts to the government have reached Rp53 trillion, and it has been forced to pledge many of its subsidiaries as repayment.