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KAML Makes A Profit of K3.3 Million
by PNG Business News - March 16, 2021
The Kina Asset Management Ltd (KAML) made a net profit of K3.32 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, thanks to a 6.2 per cent investment return.
The achievement was made amid the Covid-19 pandemic and continuing geopolitical conflicts, according to KAML chairman Sir Rabbie Namaliu.
Sir Rabbie praised KAML's investment strategy's diversification for providing a substantial measure of stability in a tumultuous year.
He said, “Asset allocation was maintained close to the preferred portfolio asset weights of 40 per cent domestic/60 per cent international, the latter being held in Australian stocks and global indexed funds. For KAML, this meant overall capital losses were more than offset by dividend and interest income and strong foreign exchange gains. Bank of South Pacific, KAML’s core domestic shareholding, comprising nearly 20 per cent of the portfolio, generated a return of 13.3m per cent for the year. Credit Corporation also performed strongly.”
Sir Rabbie, on the other hand, reported that Oil Quest and Kina Securities had experienced major reversals.
“Oil Search, badly affected by the pandemic-related fall in the global demand for oil, reported a negative return for the fund of -39.6 per cent,” he said. “Offshore, the recovery in Australia was less strong than in other markets, notably the United States. The year ended with modest overall capital losses on the Australian component of the portfolio, but the strength of the Australian dollar and a series of gradual reductions in the PGK/USD trading band by the Bank of PNG, more than offset this.”
Sir Rabbie reported that the net tangible asset backing per share was K1.59 as of December 31.
“However, KAML’s price of K0.90 per share represented a substantial discount to the underlying value of the company,” he said.
PNG Business News - March 18, 2021
Kina Bank supports KTF education program for second year
Kina Bank has pledged support for the second consecutive year to the FODE education program administered by the Kokoda Track Foundation at the Motu Koita FODE centre in Port Moresby. The bank is funding the FODE program and providing mentoring by bank staff to students enrolled at the centre. The one-on-one mentoring program offers students the opportunity to connect with young and seasoned professionals across the bank who provide coaching, and help with their studies, assessments and to prepare for exams. Building on the success of last year, students have direct personal access to a mentor who can guide them on their path to success and help them reach their goals. "Our partnership with Kina Bank is that in every sense of the word. From vital financial support, to their innovative volunteer mentoring program and all of the 'small' ways they assist our work in between, we are proud to partner with Kina Bank and are delighted to continue developing our partnership this year," said KTF CEO, Dr Genevieve Nelson. "In these challenging times, we are poised to deliver a full year of learning to our students, committed to the safety of our students and staff. We are fortunate to have an incredible partner like Kina Bank by our side on this education journey." Kokoda Track Foundation reported to have enrolled 150, an increase in numbers from 2020. “Continuing the partnership with the Foundation for Motu Koita FODE was an easy decision for us, building further on the success of the previous year and to see through some of the students in grades 10 and 11 mentored last year,” said Greg Pawson Kina Bank Chief Executive Officer. “The bank is committed to helping create the workforce of the future by supporting the learning and development of young people in Papua New Guinea. Initiatives such as the Motu Koita FODE program gives a second chance to young people to attain high school certification and progress to higher education and eventually transition into employment with skills and qualifications. At Kina Bank we’re committed to supporting our communities.”
PNG Business News - March 29, 2021
ICCC Evaluating Kina Banks Acquisition of Westpac
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.”
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PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
Price of Oil Recovers in Spite of COVID
According to Oil Search, oil prices have risen steadily in recent months from the initial effect of the Covid-19 last year, when prices ranged about US$43 (K150) per barrel of oil (bbl), to levels above US$60/bbl (K210) since February this year. In response to questions, a group spokesperson said,“ To date, there has been no impact to production in our Oil Search operations in PNG as a result of the recent surge in the Covid-19 cases. The increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases in PNG has prompted Oil Search to enact its crisis and emergency management plans. The health and safety of our employees remain the company’s highest priority and teams have been assembled in PNG and Sydney to deploy additional support to protect our people and to ensure the safety and reliability of our operations. At our PNG field locations, we continue to operate under precautionary protocols established in 2020, which includes redeployment of non-essential personnel, restriction of access and travel to field locations and implementation of strict preventative measures and quarantine zones.” He added, “We have enacted additional risk mitigation measures include establishing ‘cocoons’ for our field teams and extending the quarantine period for employees and contractors. To date, there has not been a single positive case recorded in our operating sites outside of quarantine. We have also conducted more than 7,500 Covid-19 tests at our medical clinics and quarantine facilities in PNG. Beyond the safety of our own people and assets, Oil Search stands ready to work with relevant Government and health authorities to assist in PNG’s overall response to the Covid-19. This includes the dissemination of accurate information around the Covid-19 and vaccinations, supporting provincial health authorities to implement an effective vaccination programme, and providing logistics and cold chain support where required and as directed by the Government.”
PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
Lae Chamber Welcomes Green Energy
The Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said it welcomes any power plan that is long-term, environmentally friendly and creates jobs in the delivery of efficient, low-cost electricity in Lae and Morobe. President John Byrne referred to concerns regarding the PNG Biomass project in the province's Markham Valley when he said, “PNG Biomass has provided a solution which ticks most of these boxes, whether it fits the plan of PPL (PNG Power Ltd) is a decision beyond our scope. The recent Ramu 2 announcement is another such solution. Our people of Lae, Morobe, and PNG, not only expect but deserve, reliable, constant and cost-effective power solutions.” According to Byrne, the Lae business group praised the Lae PPL team for their commitment, hard work, and communication in maintaining an ageing and insecure grid infrastructure operational. He said many companies that had short or long-term contracts with the government were failing because of the long-standing outstanding Government bills owing to them. “The quantum of debt is not specified but very large and this added to the impact of the Covid-19, resource debates and a lack of forex is taking a toll on the business houses.,” he said.
PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
Businesses Concerned Regarding Government Debts
With the outstanding amount of government debt owed to the sector, pending landowner fees, and rising law and order woes, businesses are concerned about 2022. According to Chey Scovell, chief executive officer of the PNG Manufacturers Board, conversations within the business community revealed that the government owed companies more than K2 billion. “I don’t have an updated list, but from general conversations with business and what is being raised with the various chambers, it would exceed K2 billion,” he said. “We hear that contractors for the Department of Works have claims for this amount alone, so the number could be as high as K3 billion. No doubt they may have paid some, technically a K1 payment would be paying at least some. The Budget hasn’t been able to be implemented properly at all. Recurrent expenditure, monthly bills for things like water, power, security, rent, are not being paid in full or in many cases at all. We’ve suggested that the Government put up an online portal/list, for all creditors to register for the Government to show full or progressive payments.” Scovell compared what the government was doing to the private community to what would happen if everybody started paying taxes for one to five years but continued to use government programs. “They wouldn’t be able to survive, so how is it that they expect businesses to carry on?” he said. “It is also a bit of a cop-out that Treasury is taking a long time and in many instances taking extensive reviews of claims to see if they will pay them and by how much.” Scovell argued that the government was required to behave in good faith and to set a precedent, but that forcing or intimidating companies to make substantial reductions in compensation due for goods and services rendered was bad form. “We note there are many dodgy claims, but there seems to be little evidence that hires car firms, public works contractors and catering firms (reported as problematic areas) are having the same scrutiny,” he said. “BOC Gas waited years to be paid for medical gases such as oxygen supplied to PMGH (Port Moresby General Hospital), it was reviewed twice that I know of and not paid. The other item of note is that debt carried is a growing debt. The older it gets the more it has cost the businesses.” He added, “Also, our currency has been depreciating, many businesses based their fees on the foreign exchange rates at that time, some even had loans Just like our tax penalties, the longer they are overdue, the higher they should become. This Government isn’t doing to others as it does for itself. We still have micro, small and medium enterprises that have suffered duress due to non-payment of bills going all the way back to our 40th Independence, same goes for the 2015 Pacific Games, we hear from the regional chambers that there are many outstanding claims for the past two elections. Again, if we had a publicly available list, the Government wouldn’t be able to hide behind confusion and people could whistleblow on dubious claims.”