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PNG Kina Continues to Fall Against US Dollar
by PNG Business News - May 10, 2021
The PNG Kina is expected to continue falling against the US dollar.
The Kina traded steady in the first quarter of 2021, according to the BSP's Pacific and Economic Market Insight survey, thus depreciating 2.4 per cent year on year against the US dollar, from 0.2920 to 0.2850.
Rohan George, BSP Group General Manager – Treasury, said, “The US Dollar rallied against most currencies, as higher than expected economic and employment growth created inflationary concerns and fueled speculation that the US Federal Reserve would tighten monetary policy earlier than markets had initially expected.”
Business liquidity dwindled in the first quarter of 2021, with market volatility down 8.3% in March and 5.2 per cent for the quarter.
Despite strengthening signs in the global economy, George predicted that foreign exchange market turnover would remain sluggish in April and May, with decreased foreign exchange inflows in April.
This follows the two-week closing of the OTML COVID-19 phase alignment and Barrick's lack of foreign currency supply to the industry.
He predicts an uptick in half-yearly and end-of-quarter flows next month, as well as a reduction in pending foreign exchange order bottleneck problems.
“To manage reduced FX liquidity, businesses should place FX orders (with correct paperwork), as soon as possible, ensuring orders are cash-backed while awaiting execution, and that tax clearance certificates are current and reflect the expected FX order execution time.”
BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming agreed, saying, “The Government’s commitment to recommission operations of Porgera mine is a positive move that will also bring foreign exchange into the country and boost local and domestic economic activity.”
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.”
PNG Business News - March 16, 2021
KAML Makes A Profit of K3.3 Million
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.
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PNG Business News - June 15, 2021
PNG Vanilla Company Partners Expo2020 Team
Dr. Nancy Irwin (left) with the Deputy Commissioner General for Expo2020 and Head of the PNG Expo2020 Secretariat, Mrs. Jacinta Warakai-Manua began the partnership to tell the PNG Vanilla story in Dubai, by exchanging ideas in Port Moresby last week. A vanilla production and export company is partnering with the PNG Expo2020 Team to promote their products in the Dubai World Exposition that starts in October this year. KAMAPIM, a company working with landowners in the Madang and Morobe Provinces produces top quality vanilla beans and is already exporting to the EU market. The Managing Director of the company Dr. Nancy Irwin, met with the PNG Commissioner General to Expo2020 Ambassador Joshua Kalinoe and his Deputy Mrs. Jacinta Warakai-Manua in Port Moresby last week to firm up the arrangements. Dr. Irwin said Kamapim (pidgin for develop and to improve) concentrates its efforts in producing the best quality bean for the international market through quality assurance production methods. “PNG farmers can grow anything, they have instinctive ability to grow well any crops. When I first started the project, the quality of the beans were poor, full of fungus due to lack of processing knowledge. We saw huge potential of the organically grown beans and started working with landowners through a cooperative production and marketing structure to improve quality” “The company provide extension services to farmers and buy the beans directly, ensuring farmers are paid a fair price for their efforts”, she said. Dr Irwin said the beans are tested internationally and are consistently classed as the top-quality A grade level. “While PNG has a good perception of growing environment friendly organic vanilla beans, the challenge is for the relevant Government authorities to work with farmers to improve quality. I believe the cooperative production methods applied by our company, Kamapim, could be used nationally as one of the models to improve quality for the export market as well as to maximize revenue gain for farmers”, Dr. Irwin said. She said the company is looking forward to partnering with the PNG Expo2020 Team to tell the PNG story and to connect with niche importers in Dubai and the Arab world in general. Dr. Irwin said the company would promote its products in specially branded PNG Expo2020 containers to create visibility for the country as well as to preserve quality at the company’s cost.
PNG Business News - June 15, 2021
PNGEITI Praises Open Dialogue to Reopen Porgera Mine
The PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) has praised the open stakeholder dialogue culminating in reaching consensus to re-open the Pogera Mine in Enga. Parties in April this year sanctioned a “Framework Agreement for the New Pogera Project” which spells out the roadmap to reopen the mine. Mark Bristow, CEO and President of Barrick Gold last week explained key elements of “Framework Agreement for the New Pogera Project” at a public forum at the Piam Oval in Pogera witnessed by PNG Prime Minister James Marape, landowners and other leaders. In the new agreement, PNG stakeholders will together own a 51 % equity stake in the mine while Barrick Niguini Limited (BNL), a joint venture company in which Barrick and Zijin Mining Group each own 50% will hold 49 %. BNL will remain the mine operator. At the end of the first ten year period, the PNG stakeholders will have the option to purchase BNL’s 49 % PNGEITI Head of Secretariat Lucas Alkan remarked that the open discussion throughout the negotiation process on the part of the mine operating lead, Government and landowners has culminated in this agreement signed happily by all parties. “We at the PNGEITI congratulate the Government and the project lead Barrick Gold and other stakeholders for reaching a consensus decision to reopen the mine. “Pogera has been an economic powerhouse for many years and people in the country have been waiting for the outcome. “We commend the Prime Minister, the President and CEO of Barrick Gold Mr. Mark Bristow for the leadership in ensuring that the negotiations were done in the transparent and open manner. “PNG Extractive Industries Transparency highly encourages such openness in the negotiating process for resources benefits and importantly the responsibilities that each stakeholder must take on to ensure smooth flow of proceeds. “We look forward to working with the Government and the project operator in the areas of transparency and accountability to help derive best value for all stakeholders. PNGEITI commitment to reporting on developments in the mining and petroleum space is becoming stronger with new reporting dimensions taking shape as we making progress in promoting transparency and accountability in the PNG mining and petroleum industry” Mr. Alkan said.
PNG Business News - June 14, 2021
BPNG Goes For Review
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey has revealed the terms of reference for a review of the Bank of PNG, as well as the members of the review panel. Former Chief Secretary Robert Igara will lead the study, which was planned in the Supplementary Budget for 2020. Former central bank governor Sir Wilson Kamit and Australian professor Dr Stephen Howes are the two members. “These very eminent people, all of whom have detailed experience of the PNG financial system and reform, will be working to a term of reference approved recently by the NEC,” Ling-Stuckey said. “It is the first review of the central bank and the Central Banking Act 2002 since Sir Mekere Morauta’s financial system reforms when he was prime minister from 1999 to 2002. “Much has changed since then, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, along with substantial technological advances, have made the need for a review even more urgent. “The aim is to modernise the bank and the legislation in line with international developments, and make it more responsive to prevailing circumstances while preserving its independence.” The study is scheduled to be finished in time for Parliament's November session. “An independent advisory group was also established by the late Sir Mekere when looking at the changes that led to the Central Banking Act 2000,” he said. “Igara, currently the University of Papua New Guinea chancellor, was chief secretary at the time, and Sir Wilson was the governor of the Central Bank. “Prof Howes, head of the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University, has long been involved in PNG research and advice and consultation, particularly in relation to national development.” Reference: The National (8 June 2021). “BPNG going for review”.