ICCC Evaluating Kina Banks Acquisition of Westpac
by PNG Business News - March 29, 2021
Kina Securities Ltd (KSL) has sent an application to the Independent Consumer Competition Commission (ICCC) for approval of its proposed acquisition of Westpac's Pacific company.
Through the authorisation process, ICCC will determine the acquisition's competition consequences and public gains, according to Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Paulus Ain.
This will be achieved by a public review process in which the ICCC will accept comments from stakeholders and the general public before reaching a definitive judgment about whether or not to approve the acquisition under the ICCC Act.
“The process that ICCC will conduct is very transparent and it is very important for the people of this country, especially from the finance and banking sector, to get themselves involved,” Ain said. “The process has now started and we are formally inviting the people in the finance and banking sector, other commentators, interested parties and the public to the process on assessment. We are looking forward to seeing a lot of submissions come in and this process starts effectively today (Friday).”
KSL is awaiting ICCC approval to purchase 89.91 per cent of Westpac PNG Ltd.
The proposed acquisition has reached the threshold needed under section 81 of the ICCC Act for mandatory notification and obtaining ICCC approval to continue with the acquisition, according to the ICCC.
The authorisation process, according to Ain, has no bearing on the ICCC's decision on who buys.
“This is something that ICCC does not or is not required by law to do this,” he said. “It’s outside of the ICCC’s role.”
PNG Business News - April 19, 2021
Kina Bank Shareholders Approve Acquisition
At its General Meeting on April 15th in Port Moresby, Kina Securities Limited (KSL) shareholders unanimously voted in favour of Kina Bank's takeover of Westpac PNG and Westpac Fiji. CEO Greg Pawson said in a statement that the shareholders' vote of confidence was "amazing." “We are very excited about this opportunity, and creating a stronger and more effective banking competitor for PNG and Fiji. The acquisition is perfectly aligned with our current strategy to be a dynamic and innovative full-service regional bank with a market-leading digital platform.” Following the planned takeover, a newly branded bank will emerge, independent and distinct from Kina Bank, and it will compete directly with all commercial banks in Fiji and PNG, including Kina Bank. “It’s a really positive story and it will be a great outcome for customers from a service and product perspective. Creating a brand-new bank means there will be more customer choice, more competition and more innovation. With the proposed acquisition we will be able to introduce fee free banking options; a new suite of world-class digital products and services; and we will be able to re-price business lending, making it more cost-effective for business customers to access funding.” According to Pawson, there would be no reduction in rivalry or the possibility of a duopoly or market domination. He claims that the planned transaction would position Kina to return banking to its roots on a larger scale, with improved customer support and an emphasis on lowering banking costs in both PNG and Fiji. According to Pawson, one of the major advantages of this proposed transaction is that it would enable local investors to engage by equity raising and provide opportunities for PNG investors to be a part of an ASX/PNGX listed firm, joining many other local PNG investors including Comrade Trustee Services Limited and MRDC. “It means everyone has the opportunity to be an active shareholder in an ASX/PNGX listed company which provides more local investment opportunities, this is important for the region,” added Pawson. In both Fiji and PNG, regulatory approval is needed for the acquisition.
PNG Business News - June 01, 2021
Kina Bank appoints Chief of Staff, new executive role to drive transformation
Kina Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Judith Ugava-Taunao as Chief of Staff reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer. In this new senior leadership role, Judith will take a position on the Executive Committee, demonstrating Kina’s continued commitment to promoting PNG women into leadership roles. Judith joins Kina Bank with a distinguished career, having worked in international development, organisational transformation, and human resource development and leadership. For 18 years she has built a career that spans across international borders and sectors. Prior to joining Kina Bank, Judith was at Oil Search where she served as the Vice President, Change Management Lead and as the General Manager for OSL’s Citizen Development Program. “I am pleased to join the Kina Bank team at a time when the opportunity to introduce new and transformative change in the banking industry is upon us,” said Ms Ugava-Taunao. “It is exciting to consider Kina’s growth over the next five years and the drive to bring improved financial services to Papua New Guineans who want more out of their banks.” In her new role, Judith will be responsible for developing and delivering key strategic, business priorities. The appointment is critical to the success of the business, ensuring the bank delivers on its long-term aspirations. Judith adds significant strength to the executive team. Greg Pawson, Kina Bank’s Chief Executive Officer said: “I am delighted that Judith is joining the Kina Bank team. She has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience that will benefit the Bank in its transformational journey. Judith’s appointment also demonstrates our continued commitment to promoting women into leadership roles. It’s an exciting time of growth and expansion for us and with Judith’s expertise in business development and change management, we have an exciting future ahead.”
PNG Business News - June 21, 2021
Westpac Acquisition Awaiting Clearance
Kina Bank's acquisition of Westpac's operations is awaiting clearance from the treasury and the ICCC. Kina Bank has submitted an application to BPNG to purchase Westpac Business, which has been referred to the Treasury for a final decision, according to BPNG assistant governor Ellison Pidik. He added that all relevant information about the purchase application had been given to the Minister in charge and that BPNG is awaiting his answer to the letter issued by BPNG Governor Loi Bakani. After receiving a response, BPNG will proceed to the next step of alerting Kina Bank of the decision. Kina Bank applied to them and the Independent Consumer Competition Commission (ICCC) as the appropriate licensing agencies to conduct the application, according to Pidik. According to Pidik, Kina Bank's application to the ICCC is for competition purposes and for the ICCC to ensure that the appropriate regulatory processes under the ICCC Act are followed. Pidik went on to say that Kina Bank's application to BPNG went through the necessary channels and is currently awaiting a response from the Treasurer. Meanwhile, ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Paulus Ain reiterated Wednesday that Kina Bank's authorization letter to purchase 89.91 per cent of shares in Westpac Bank (PNG) Limited (Westpac PNG) is still seeking final determination. According to Ain, Kina Bank's application is still being evaluated, with a final decision likely by August of this year. He explained that before the final judgment is made, all parties must agree with the ICCC on the publishing of a draft decision so that the applicant and other stakeholders can submit their case based on the draft findings. “We will call a conference and listen to the applicant and other relevant stakeholders to present their case based on the draft determination and after that, once we have come to an agreement, we (ICCC) will then proceed to progress the final determination decision for this acquisition.” Reference: Kamus, Maxine. Post-Courier (17 June 2021). “Westpac Purchase Pending Approval”.
PNG Business News - September 16, 2021
Engaging the global crowd to design the electric mine of the future
Today, the Electric Mine Consortium (EMC) launched the ‘Electric Mine Simulation’ crowd challenge in partnership with the OZ Minerals Think & Act Differently ideas incubator and Unearthed. OZ Minerals, IGO, South 32, Blackstone Minerals, Evolution Mining, Barminco and Goldfields have committed to significantly reducing their carbon footprint. These seven mining companies along with a number of partner companies, have come together to form the Electric Mine Consortium, a collaborative group seeking to accelerate progress towards a fully electrified zero carbon and zero particulates mine. Electrification of mine sites is a critical step change needed for the mining industry to achieve a zero carbon future. Switching to electric and renewable energy represents a transformational shift that will change the way mines are designed. This challenge is about using simulation to understand the impacts of electrification on mine design and through this challenge the EMC is looking to find innovators that can help do this. The eight-week online challenge invites companies and individuals from around the world to propose an approach to designing an open architecture, mine design simulation platform that can initially be used to compare a fully electric underground mine with its traditional diesel powered equivalent. Brett Triffett, Transformation Technologist, from OZ Minerals explained, “there is a great opportunity to use whole-of-mine simulations that integrate all of the dependent systems so we can understand the holistic value in transitioning from diesel to electric solutions in underground mines. We would like to be able to quickly build and test different mine designs and compare things like productivity, costs, emissions and energy requirements. We think that eventually this capability could be expanded to include the entire mining value chain. We have invited the crowd to propose solutions because we are not currently aware of a platform that meets this brief. What we have learned from running previous crowd challenges is that there are often people from outside our industry who have ideas or technology that can be applied to mining. These people are often unknown to us and in many cases they are unfamiliar with our industry. By participating in a crowd challenge, innovators can access a new market and be supported in developing new products and business models.”. A selected cohort from from this challenge will join the Think & Act Differently incubator and be supported in developing a demonstration of their solution. The incubator program is a supportive environment that includes; funding, mentoring, opportunities for collaboration, capability uplift and exposure to mining data and mining operations from across the EMC members.
PNG Business News - September 15, 2021
Weir Minerals strengthens its partnership with international technology group, Andritz
Weir Minerals and Andritz have signed an agreement at MINExpo 2021 expanding their shared commitment and strategic cooperation to supply equipment for processing tailings in the mining industry. The foundations of this agreement have been built on a shared understanding and vision to enable the sustainable and efficient delivery of the natural resources essential to create a better future for the world. Since 2018, Weir Minerals’ and Andritz’s partnership has seen them collaborate on joint tailings projects. This shared history as partners – a collaboration made stronger by the quality of individuals on both teams – has reinforced their abiding belief that together, both Weir Minerals and Andritz are stronger. This shared success has led both Weir Minerals and Andritz to renew their on-going commitment and announce they’ll be expanding their offer to all regions around the globe. Utilising Andritz’s proven separation and dewatering technologies, Weir Minerals has strengthened its whole-of-mine capabilities, showcasing market-leading products from extraction to comminution, mill circuit and tailings management. ‘Weir Minerals has been providing tailings solutions for decades; we have dedicated research facilities – the Weir Technical Centre in Melbourne, Australia and the Sustainable Mining Centre in Venlo, Netherlands – that are challenging conventional ways of thinking about tailings, while also developing practical, innovative and sustainable solutions that will reduce operating costs and improve safety,’ Ricardo Garib, Weir Minerals Division President said. ‘Decreasing ore grades mean that mines are producing more tailings than ever before. One of the challenges with tailings management is that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach; each mine requires a tailored solution that carefully considers the minerals being processed, as well as the site’s climatic and geological conditions. Weir Minerals prides itself on having both the expertise and equipment that allows us to partner with miners everywhere to plan and implement tailings solutions based on their operations’ unique challenges and this agreement with Andritz enhances those capabilities,’ he said. ‘Andritz has a long history working across a range of different industries. We are very proud of the work we’ve done with Weir Minerals; together, we’re excited about continuing to provide a joint offering of sustainable and value-added tailings solutions. Both companies bring a different expertise and know-how to the partnership; we complement one another and ultimately it’s our customers who’ll benefit,’ Steve Huff, President Andritz Separation said. Tailings management forms an important element of Weir Minerals’ broader integrated solutions approach, which considers problems and challenges from all perspective and draws on a range of experts – process engineers, design engineers, product experts and materials scientists, among others – to identify potential challenges and opportunities and provide tailored solutions. ‘This latest agreement enhances our overall tailings offering and enables us to provide our customers with a complete tailings solution. Under the brand name IsoDry, we will continue to offer customers a range of mechanical separation technologies, such as thickeners, filter presses, centrifuges, and vacuum belt filters,’ Charlie Stone, Weir Minerals VP Sales and Business Development-Mill Circuit said. Weir Minerals has strengthened its tailings team to support the market and ensure that it can provide innovative solutions based on each customer’s specific requirements. The agreement provides the opportunity for potential future collaboration on technology, harnessing Andritz’s market-leading separation technology in conjunction with Weir Minerals’ minerals and tailings processing technology. Many of these products – Warman® pumps to transport fluid tailings, GEHO® pumps to handle paste, Cavex® hydrocyclones to dewater tailings and the Multiflo® range of dewatering solutions – have been integral to helping miners manage their waste for generations. Weir Minerals and Andritz have also reiterated their shared commitment to sustainability; it is an essential part of both their business and corporate strategies. Both companies have outlined ambitious plans to reduce their carbon emissions, while their approach to ESG initiatives extends to all aspects of their organisations. ‘Shareholders and stakeholders are rightfully demanding more sustainable mining practices and tailings management is an area where there’s a lot of scope for improvement. Weir Minerals wants to play a central role in changing how the industry thinks about and manages tailings. Ultimately, we believe that sustainable solutions are not only environmentally beneficial, but also reduce operating costs and minimise risk,’ David Almond, Weir Minerals Global Director, Product Management Process said. ‘Weir strives to make our customers more sustainable and efficient; it’s core to our purpose and at the heart of what we do. We believe that embedding sustainability throughout our organisation protects and creates long-term value for our stakeholders and secures the long-term future of Weir. Our approach to tailings management is an extension of our broader corporate strategy. There is scope to make long-lasting, impactful change in how the mining sector thinks about and manages tailings and Weir is proud to be one of the industry leaders,’ Jon Stanton, Weir Group Chief Executive said.
PNG Business News - September 15, 2021
STAKEHOLDERS VIEWS CRITICAL FOR BETTER RESOURCE GOVERNANCE: ALKAN
Head of the PNGEITI Mr Lucas Alkan last week in Wabag at the opening of the consultation. The Head of the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Mr. Lucas Alkan has issued a strong challenge to stakeholders in the extractive industries to embrace and promote the work of EITI in Papua New Guinea to derive best value from the industry. Mr. Alkan spoke of this last week in Wabag when he opened the upper highlands regional consultation on a proposed law to transition the PNGEITI into a statutory authority. “PNG EITI is a government driven initiative to promote transparency and accountability in the PNG mining and petroleum space which has been driving the PNG economy for a sustained period of time. “But there is this misconception about proceeds from mining and petroleum activities not being translated well into development on the ground and this sentiment is shared by many at both the provincial and national level. “What PNGEITI is doing is to shed light on the leakages on revenues and proceeds from the mining and petroleum activities with the ultimate aim of improving governance in the mining and petroleum sectors using international best practice standards to see the desired development outcome from this important sector. “Seven years into PNGEITI implementation in PNG, we’ve now seen the need to make the PNGEITI administrative body, the PNGEITI into a statutory body to see more improvement in the EITI reports to enhance good governance in the sector to derive the best development outcome. “We’ve covered two regions; the New Guinea Islands and Momase regions and we are now conducting consultations in Enga and Eastern Highalnds to cover the big highlands region. “I encourage the best knowledge and views from all stakeholders from the stakeholders in these consultations so that we give birth to a law that truly reflects the genuine views of all stakeholders for better development outcomes. A State Technical working group comprising the Department of Petroleum, State Solicitor, Internal Revenue Commission, Department of Personnel Management, Department of Treasury, the National Economic Fiscal Commission and Department of Finance were in the Enga capital, Wabag for a four days consultation for the Upper Highlands region” “PNGEITI has been in operations since 2014 effected by a NEC decision and now we are moving into the next step in anchoring this extractive industry reporting process into PNG’s legal and administrative system. PNGEITI published 7 reports detailing activities taking placing inn the PNG mining and petroleum space,” Mr. Alkan said. Article Courtesy of PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative