Astra: Ready, Set...Sell!

Unloading the Indonesian giant may spur sales of other troubled state assets

The Indonesian government's long attempt to sell assets seized from Suharto cronies was, until recently, a tale of tragicomic bumbling. Despite its desperate need for revenue to replenish public coffers drained by bank bailouts, Jakarta held on to billions' worth of assets confiscated from corporate deadbeats for two years. Seemingly done deals, such as last year's plan to sell seized Bank Bali to London's Standard Chartered Bank, collapsed after auditors found $80 million missing from its books.

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