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Number seven, lucky for some

Progress at the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency is crucial to dragging the country out of a mire of debt. Its new chairman, the seventh to hold the post, is well regarded. But he has suffered an early setback. Is this the toughest job in Asia?

Syafruddin Temenggung

At the end of April, the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) called in the cleaners yet again. This time it was to empty the desk of chairman I Puto Gde Ary Suta. After his possessions were boxed up and sent out they were replaced with those of Syafruddin Temenggung (pictured above). He's the seventh chairman to be installed at IBRA since it was established in 1998.

To the casual observer it might appear that IBRA is far more adept at disposing of its chairmen than it is at following its mandate - sorting out the banking sector and dealing with the rapidly devaluing $65 billion-worth of distressed assets that it took onto its books.

Being chairman number seven, it should not be a surprise if Syafruddin never feels totally secure at his new desk. That's because the list of his predecessors reads like a who's who of Indonesia's top financiers and bureaucrats.

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