Pandemic affects BSP’s targets
The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected the Bank South Pacific group’s growth targets for its joint venture business in Laos, says chief executive officer Robin Fleming.
Fleming said they had completed acquiring the asset finance company in Southeast Asia and the business was in the process of being rebranded to BSP Finance Laos.
“Systems are being integrated but the Covid-19 has negatively impacted on progressing our growth targets,” he said.
“Both the Cambodia and Laos economies were impacted by restrictions implemented by governments with the tourist sectors, in particular, experiencing contractions inactivity.
“As a result, demand for finance in both countries slowed down and repayment relief had been provided to borrowers for a three-month period for tourist-related sectors.
“Business activity is starting to improve but it will take some time for the tourist sector to revert to pre-Covid-19 levels.”
Earlier this year, Fleming said the acquisition price for the Laos asset finance company was US$2 million (K6.66 million).
He said what was important to realise with the acquisition and every business around the Pacific was that in all its subsidiaries, whether wholly-owned, branch or partially-owned, they had a policy whereby 70 per cent of the profits generated in those countries was repatriated to PNG.