In brief: Central Bank pledges to increase monthly forex release to the market


The Bank of Papua New Guinea to increase monthly forex release by US$40 million, Kumul Petroleum Holdings to supply energy to Special Economic Zones, and key PNG corporates post encouraging 2022 results. Your business news in brief.

Paradise Foods Solomon Islands

Paradise Foods Limited Group’s CEO, Michael Penrose [left], welcomed William Soaki, the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG [centre], for a meeting to discuss trade opportunities. Credit: Paradise Foods


The Bank of PNG (BPNG) announced its intention to release US$100 million (about K350 million) in foreign exchange to the market per month, an increase of US$40 million from the current US$60 million (about K211 million). Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey announced this after a meeting with BPNG to address businesses’ complains about lack of forex. (Post-Courier)


The Department of International Trade and Investment and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) have signed a memorandum of understanding that binds Kumul to provide energy solutions to PNG’s Special Economic Zones.

KPHL’s Managing Director, Wapu Sonk, reportedly said: ‘Without innovative solutions to our electricity to bring costs down and make power more reliable, we will never succeed as a country to develop because we are living in a global community where we need to compete with the rest of the world. It is our job as the Government to make sure that the country has cheap and reliable and clean energy.’ (The National)


Dubai-based civil construction company AstralENERGY has entered an agreement with the Morobe government to supply 100 megawatts of electricity to Lae to help ease the regular blackouts in the city. Representatives from AstraleEnergy will soon travel to Morobe to finalise details and look at other key infrastructure projects. (The National)


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Boosted by significantly higher oil and LNG prices, plus a higher interest (42.5%) in PNG assets following its December 2021 merger with Oil Search, Santos posted a record full-year FY22 cash flow of $US3.6 billion (K12.6 billion) and raised its final dividend by around 80 per cent.

The PNG LNG project maintained strong gross production at 8.6 mtpa in 2022, 20-plus per cent above forecast for spot cargoes in 2022, with Santos-operated assets delivering 14 per cent (in 2022) of PNG LNG gas supply.


The National Fisheries Authority (NFA), like other government organisations, is getting ready to digitise operations and align with the Government’s digital transformation plan. The NFA has signed a memorandum of understanding with telecommunications company PNG DataCo for the ‘digital transformation of the authority.’

NFA’s Managing Director, Justin Ilakini, said that the authority has planned to go paperless and is gearing towards the digitisation of external fisheries activities. (The National)


As part of its refleeting project, PNG’s national airline carrier, Air Niugini, is looking at Brazilian airline company Embraer for aircraft. The Brazilian company has over 100 customers in 50 countries and its E195-E2 is considered the most environmentally friendly aircraft in its class (25 per cent lower fuel burn that others). The E195-E2 is one of the options Air Niugini is looking as replacements for its Fokker fleet. (Air Niugini)


A review and reform of PNG’s forestry sector could be on its way after the PNG Forest Authority and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help transform the sector. The MoU, Forestry Minister Salio Waipo explained, will help both partners ‘to maintain close cooperation to support the advancement of the forestry sector and the forest industries of Australia and PNG.’ (Post-Courier)


BSP Financial Group recorded a statutory net profit after tax of K1.081 billion for the 2022 financial year, marginally (0.5%) up on the previous year.

BSP delivered 8.8 per cent growth in net interest income (NIM), courtesy of increased lending activities in PNG and Fiji and higher earnings from investments in securities, while fees and commission income and foreign exchange earnings were up 13.1 and 11.2 per cent respectively. (BSP)


After receiving a one-off tax windfall, courtesy of a tax credit of K10.4 million, Kina Bank delivered a FY22 statutory net profit after tax of K116.5 million, up 65 per cent on last year.

While Kina failed to grow its net interest margin (NIM), Net Fees and Commissions increased by 30 per cent, while overall Lending and Funds Under Administration were up 11 and 10 per cent respectively. (Kina Bank)


Following a lifting of COVID restrictions, which drove higher demand within its hospitality and property divisions, Steamships Trading Company Ltd has posted a stronger than expected full year FY22 result, with sales revenue up 12 per cent to K631.3 million on the previous period.

The company declared a total dividend of 120 toea per share, up 20 per cent on the previous year. (Steamships)

Photograph of the week


Credit: Clare O’Neil via Linkedin

The 29th Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum was held in February in Canberra. Senator Penny Wong, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Justin Tkatchenko, PNG’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, co-chaired the event, the first in-person forum held since 2019.

During the event, the Ministers renewed their commitment to the Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership, talked about the integration of the two economies through initiatives such as the Australia-PNG Economic Partnership and committed and noted priorities for defence cooperation, among other business.

To read the full Ministerial Forum Joint Communiqué, click here.

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