PNGX Markets and XBourse Australia sign MOU for use of blockchain technology to accelerate Pacific Islands’ capital markets
by PNG Business News - June 22, 2022
Photo credit: PNGX
PNGX Markets - Papua New Guinea’s national stock exchange, XBourse Australia - a leading technology services company specialising in building innovative bespoke solutions for financial markets, and Pacific Capital Markets Development - an Australian company committed to the development of capital markets in the Pacific region, have recently signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of worldleading digital solutions for Pacific Islands’ capital markets, starting in Papua New Guinea.
The objectives of the cooperative arrangements are to enhance capital market efficiency, promote market liquidity, attract investment and reduce market risk in the Pacific Islands region.
Under the memorandum, PNGX, XBourse and PCMD will work together to explore the phased development of state-of-the-art digital market infrastructure and services:
- Multi-currency post-trade settlement and registration solutions for public and private markets; including equities, bonds and climate instruments.
- central securities depositories and registries;
- custodial services for international investors;
- integrated commercial and regulatory solutions for SMEs; and
- superannuation registry solutions.
“We are very excited to be working with XBourse” said PNGX Chairman and PCMD Director, Mr David Lawrence. “XBourse’s digital ledger technology (also known as blockchain) and smart contracts have the potential to turbo-charge the public and private capital markets in the Pacific region. The concepts currently being developed would be world-leading, presenting real opportunities for Papua New Guinea.
“We have a vision to provide an integrated solution for Pacific companies of all sizes offering faster access to debt and equity capital, instantaneous and risk-free settlement of trades, a central securities depository to make trading easier for all market users, a custodial platform to meet the needs of international investors, and the potential for expansion into other services, such as superannuation technology services” Mr Lawrence said.
“XBourse is a market leader in the financial technology sector and has been working in recent years with globally recognised technology partners to develop a range of integrated and innovative market platforms and digital solutions that can be readily deployed into all types of markets, covering both existing and new assets, such as climate, that are rapidly being digitised. These platforms deliver greater functionality, efficiency and a new way of doing business in the 21st century at a lower cost than existing incumbent legacy systems and processes.
“Importantly they offer opportunities for new asset classes in the digital age. Some of the opportunities include issuance and registration of assets, trading, digital registries and other back-office systems with immutable records of ownership, transactions and provenance that provide much-needed integrity and security to support the market and regulatory confidence.
“XBourse is excited to be working with PNGX and Pacific Markets Capital Development to identify ways XBourse’s technology solutions can be implemented in the PNG market. Our experience has shown that better market infrastructure is vital to promote efficient use and allocation of capital and to attract the interest of investors large and small,” said XBourse CEO and Founder, Mr Tony Mackay.
“Digitisation and blockchain provide the opportunity for markets of all types and sizes to better and more efficiently access capital. Just as importantly, the new market infrastructure can reduce operational and regulatory risk for all participants and operators.
“XBourse is also working on early-stage projects to tokenise carbon abatement and carbon credits, and we see enormous potential in the Pacific for these instruments where digitisation and blockchain technology can validate, regulate and tokenise these instruments and initiatives and make markets in them,” Tony Mackay said.
“The input of key stakeholders in the market, such as listed companies, banks, superannuation funds and stockbrokers, is critical to the success of this project and ultimately of the PNG market” said PNGX General Manager, Ms Elizabeth Wamsa. “We will shortly be conducting industry forums to discuss user and regulator needs to enable the development of an optimal solution” she said.
Article courtesy of PNGX
PNG Business News - August 23, 2021
PNG Stock Market Worth Over K120 Billion
Photo Credit: PNGX According to the PNG Securities Commission, the stock market in PNG is now worth over K120 billion. The PNG National Stock Exchange presently has 13 firms listed, according to acting executive chairman Robert Minak (PNGX). “The total market cap fluctuates around K120 billion,” he said. “The market tracks well and it’s steady all the time for those 13 companies despite the challenges posed by the Coronavirus. “Trading has been slow but steady.” Minak stated this after Zimcare Ltd HR Consultants presented the commission with a report on the organization's audit. The purpose of the audit was to verify that the commission took stock of its operations and that the appropriate personnel were carrying out their allocated duties. “They are elite corporations that have billions of kina,” Minak said. “They hire the best people in the world. “And for the securities commission to challenge or regulate them with people that are not qualified or skilled, is a joke. “We felt that it was fundamental that we get it right from the start. “So we had to hire Zimcare. “They (had done) the organisational structure for the securities commission so they know the commission (well). “We got them to come and fix up things that have gone wrong along the way.” Meanwhile, Minak said the country’s stock market could make money for the Government like other stock markets in the world. “The (PNG) Government does not have the money,” he said. “It gets it from the banks within or goes out and borrows. “The commission regulates an industry where the Government or anyone else can raise money from an alternative source. “In other countries, the securities commission makes money that contributes to the budget.” Reference: Mauludu, Shirley. The National (13 August 2021). “Stock market worth K120bil”.
PNG Business News - August 30, 2021
PNGX and Securities Commission Sign MoU
Photo Credit: PNGX PNGX Markets Limited, Papua New Guinea's national stock exchange, and the Securities Commission of Papua New Guinea (SCPNG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the preservation of an orderly market for listed securities. The Securities Commission may make public remarks regarding a listed business from time to time in the course of its duties and responsibilities that a reasonable person would anticipate to have a substantial impact on the price or value of the listed company's securities. Making such remarks during trading hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) might jeopardize an orderly and fair market in such assets. The MoU intends to foster collaboration between the Securities Commission and the PNGX in order to support the effective performance of their respective duties and responsibilities, as well as the preservation of orderly and fair markets in Papua New Guinea. According to the MoU, the Securities Commission will avoid making public statements about a listed company that a reasonable person would expect to have a material effect on the price or value of a listed company's securities during trading hours, to the extent that it is reasonably practicable to do so. If it is not possible to avoid making such public remarks during market hours: Prior to issuing the relevant public statement, the SCPNG will inform PNGX; PNGX will impose a trading stop on the relevant listed company's securities; and SCPNG will provide PNGX with a copy of the relevant public statement for distribution to the market as soon as feasible. “It is fundamental that regulatory governance systems are established to ensure a fair and orderly market,” said Robert Salmon-Minak, acting executive chairman of the Securities Commission. “This MoU recognises and respects the differing but complementary roles of the Securities Commission and PNGX in achieving that outcome. “The capital market regulator in any country plays a critical function in the economy of that country,” said PNGX chairman, David Lawrence. We are pleased to be working with the Securities Commission to put in place processes that promote confidence in the PNG capital market.” Reference: Post-Courier (27 August 2021). “Securities Commission, PNGX Sign Agreement”.
PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
Commission Places New Levy on Transactions
The Papua New Guinea Securities Commission has placed a new levy for all trades on the PNG Stock Exchange, the country's stock market (PNGX). The Securities Commission adopted the new levy on February 8 and it went into effect on March 8, according to PNGX chairman David Lawrence. Each buyer and seller are expected to pay an extra 0.75 per cent of the sale value to their stockbroker. He said that the stockbroker was required to pay the money to PNGX on a monthly basis and that PNGX was then required to pay the money to the Securities Commission on a monthly basis. PNGX was worried that the levies would disincentivize business competition at a time when it was attempting to build it up from a low base, according to Lawrence. Buyers and sellers, he added, were immune to paying the levies for on-market purchases. “We have also heard that some buyers and sellers are giving consideration to off-market transfers of listed securities rather than executing orders through the market, as off-market transfers will not be subject to the levies,” he said. PNGX has urged the Securities Commission to notify the public of its plans to reclaim any outstanding levies from investors and sellers, as well as its views on off-market transfer activities, according to Lawrence. “PNGX is concerned that the imposition of the levy at this time is counterproductive to the development of the capital markets in PNG and not aligned with the Government’s financial sector development strategy (FSDS) to create an environment that is equal in its competitiveness to the ASX,” he said. He expressed concern about the possible impediments generated by the levy, which he defined as follows: Both Investors' trader fees will be increased. This would have a negative effect on investment returns, particularly superannuation investors. It would also give other more developed foreign markets in the area and more established international markets an unexpected competitive edge. Detract from Papua New Guinea's investability; Encourage PNG-incorporated businesses to list on existing foreign exchanges with lower sovereign risk; Encourage the expansion of "off-market" transactions, decreasing the disclosure, pricing, openness, and investor rights inherent in the formal, controlled PNGX market, to the detriment of PNG's domestic and international investors. According to Lawrence, the outcomes could decrease competition in an already illiquid sector, eliminate incentives for market development, and raise the cost of financing for PNG companies and the government.
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PNG Business News - June 24, 2022
Creating decent income-earning opportunities for rural communities in Papua New Guinea under road maintenance programme
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme, as part of its mission to support efforts towards reducing rural poverty, is engaging local communities with a focus on struggling single parents as a support workforcefor maintenance of 18 selected farm-to-market roads in the Sepik region. Led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the creation of these employment opportunities in remote communities where there are limited income-generating activities because of lack of accessible roads to markets is a relief to many disadvantaged households. This month the ILO team visited some of these beneficiaries who are employed in the Road Maintenance Groups (RMGs) working on a 17.7km-long Walkasa Mai-Wanwan road and an 8km-long Yiminum-Wilbowe road in the Nuku District of Sandaun Province. For the beneficiaries, this is a lifetime opportunity for a regular and steady income to support their and their families' everyday needs, and one important concern for the struggling families is paying for their siblings' and kids' school fees and associate costs. Among the struggling families are some widows like Marathia, aged 59, from Yiminum Village, who works on the Yiminum-Wilbowe road. "My husband died, and we were really struggling because our families have their own problems to take care of. Now, I'm very happy with this job which I joined last year. It helps with school fees for my children," said Marathia. Marathia was left with five children to support, including one who is attending final year studies at a vocational training nearby. With the income as an RMG, she was able to pay PGK 500 school fee last year and early this year she paid PGK 250. She said the community is also happy to see her contribution in a job they usually see as for men only. For youths like Jena Suwa this employment opens a new window to their life. She was not able to complete her studies after year 10 in 2018. "I'm very happy today because I was doing nothing in the house. I will now save some money to prepare to go back to school to become a nurse," said Jena. Sony Apo is another youth who completed Grade 8 in 2015 and is looking forward to some money to upgrade. He dreams of becoming a carpenter to continue the legacy of his late 'big daddy'. "Big daddy was the only skilled man we had in the family, and now I'm ready to become a carpenter as well," he said. The main works that encompass the road routine maintenance aspect to be undertaken by the RMGs include pothole patching, vegetation clearing, drainage and general cleaning along the road in preparation for engagement of a contractor to perform specific maintenance on these farm-to-market access and feeder roads. Safety gears and road maintenance tools like boots, gloves, vests, safety helmets, spades, hoes, wheelbarrows were also among the tools and equipment provided and distributed by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme among the RMGs' members. During the visits, the Programme's Community Facilitator, Rachel Bowie also shared with the RMGs to demonstrate commitment in their work to take ownership in the routine maintenance of these roads because it will serve them, their families and their fellow community members. The mission also conducted a drone survey of a 14km-long Nanaha-Tau LLG access road in the Ambunti-Drekikier District, East Sepik Province. In consultation with Ward Members, locals, including youths and women, were also recruited to form RMGs to conduct routine maintenance for this road that will also service Drekikier Secondary. Under the Programme selection criteria, one RMG comprises six members that must have at least two females. The group must also have representation from youths, single parents whose partners have died or have deserted them and traditional owners of land the road passes through. The Programme, in partnership with MiBank, a local financial institution, is implementing cashless transactions and banking for rural farmers by opening bank accounts for these RMGs, and their payment is deposited directly at the end of every month. This arrangement encourages rural farmers to save and grow their earnings, which can be used to access small loan benefits. Under this rural agriculture development programme, 18 rural roads in the Sepik region totalling close to 300 km in length are being maintained or upgraded with the help of RMGs to support the market access initiative implemented by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme for rural and farming communities to boost agriculture production and agribusiness activities pertaining to three targeted cocoa, vanilla and fisheries agri-food value chains for an improved income and cash flow for the rural communities. The roads will also support other agricultural, business, social and community activities and facilities like schools, aid posts and health centres that are in dire need of better accessible roads. The EU-STREIT PNG Programme, being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as the leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. The Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
PNG Business News - June 24, 2022
Santos welcomes new apprentices in higher-level program
Photo: Leon Buskens, Santos Country Chair PNG meeting the 25 new apprentices in Port Moresby before their departure to the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia. Joining Mr Buskens and the apprentices are members of the Santos Training and People & Culture Teams. Santos is helping to equip Papua New Guinea’s next generation of oil and gas technicians with international qualifications. Ten females are among 25 novices who have joined the Santos 2022 Apprenticeship Program following a rigorous selection process which will see them train at the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia – 900 applications were received for the 2022 Program. Upon completion of the technician training at INSTEP, the apprentices will earn a Pearson Business Education Technology Council Level 2 and Level 3 UK qualification. Santos Country Chair for PNG, Leon Buskens when welcoming the apprentices, said: “You have joined at an exciting time following the merger between Oil Search and Santos. As the inaugural batch under the merged entity, there are greater opportunities for you to advance in all aspects of your career both in PNG and abroad. I encourage you to do your best and importantly, maintain a positive attitude and uphold your values - this is what will take you far on this journey. “This is the beginning, but you should be proud of yourselves as we are of you for making it this far. Congratulations and welcome to Santos.” Joining Mr Buskens to address the new cohort were pioneering trainees Cornelius Soagai, Senior Government Affairs Manager and Lydia Warubi, Deputy Occupational Health & Safety Manager. Mr Soagai went on to become the first national Production Manager in the Operations and Maintenance Department while Ms Warubi made waves as the first national female process technician to work at the Central Processing Facility. Both leaders encouraged the apprentices to maximize on the career development opportunities available to them at Santos. Among the cohort was Judy Sasa who completed the Company’s pre-apprentice program at the Kumul Petroleum Academy (KPA) in 2020. Judy finished at the top of her class and attained an honourable achievement award. A grateful Judy thanked Santos for a further opportunity to broaden her knowledge in oil and gas production. “My dream is coming true as I have always wanted to work in this industry,” Ms Sasa said. The 25 apprentices along with the Santos training team departed PNG for Malaysia last weekend. Two permanent employees were also part of the travelling party to INSTEP where they will train to become dual Electrical & Instrumentation tradesmen. Article courtesy of Santos
PNG Business News - June 23, 2022
PM Marape says East Sepik can become ‘economic powerhouse’ of PNG
Photo: PM Marape addressing the crowd in Maprik Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says East Sepik has the potential to become the “economic powerhouse” of Papua New Guinea. He said in Maprik recently (June 22 2022) that because of this potential, and in memory of founding Prime Minister the late Sir Michael Somare, the next Government would be formed in East Sepik. Present with the Prime Minister were East Sepik Governor Hon. Allan Bird (National Alliance), Angoram MP Hon. Salio Waipo (National Alliance), Maprik MP and Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Hon. John Simon (Pangu) and Pangu candidate for Wosera-Gawi Ronald Asik. Sir Michael was instrumental in the formation of both Pangu and National Alliance “East Sepik has the potential to become the ‘economic powerhouse’ province of our country,” PM Marape said. “This is why I will bring Government formation to here: Firstly, in memory of Sir Michael, and secondly, in memory of Sir Pita Lus. “This will be the 11th Parliament, and the first Parliament without Sir Michael and Sir Pita being alive. “This will be symbolic that the nation is now being passed on to the next generation.” PM Marape said formation of the new Government in East Sepik would also inspire the new generation of leaders to hold on to the lofty ideals of the founding fathers like Sir Michael and Sir Pita. He said his Government, over the last three years, had passed major laws to fight corruption and promised the people of Papua New Guinea that some prominent leaders would be prosecuted after the elections. These include the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Whistle Blowers’ Act and Undisclosed Wealth Act. “What would be the point of Allan Bird and I growing the economy of the country when corruption is still prevalent?” PM Marape said. “We have managed to stifle corruption in the big way with passage of the three bills during the last term of Parliament. “Over the last three years, we have spent over K56 billion, which has grown the economy by K30 billion.” PM Marape said East Sepik’s economic powerhouse potential was in agriculture, through the vast Sepik Plains, and challenged the province to start growing rice on a large scale to reduce the huge K900 million rice import bill. “Over the next few years, and into the future, we want to grow our own rice for domestic consumption as well as export to Phillipines, Indonesia and the rest if the region,” he said. “Sir Michael, before his passing, said he had helped groom me up and asked me not to forget East Sepik into the future. “The way to achieve this is through economic independence. “I want every Papua New Guinean to have money in their pockets: Grow rice, grow cocoa, grow vanilla, look after cattle, bring in tourists, stop consumption of home brew, stop marijuana and other bad habits. “We are ready to take the country to the next level. “I want East Sepik to be an economic powerhouse no longer dependent on Waigani. “This is why I ask the people of East Sepik to send Allan Bird, John Simon, Salio Waipo and my Wosera-Gawi candidate Ronald Asik, Ambunti-Dreikikier candidate Richard Rafa and Wewak candidate Jim Simitab to Parliament. “ Article courtesy of PM JAMES MARAPE News Page