In brief: growth projections for Papua New Guinea downgraded and other business stories


Fitch Solutions downgrades growth projections for Papua New Guinea, St Barbara Ltd unveils promising feasibility study for its Simberi gold mine, and Kina Bank introduces fee-free account. The news in brief.

Fitch Solutions

A slower recovery in 2021: Papua New Guinea – Annual Real GDP Growth (%). Nominal exchange rate in blue and real exchange rate index in yellow. Credit: Fitch Solutions

Economy & finance

Because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in PNG, Fitch Solutions has changed its growth projection for the country in 2021. It now expects real GDP growth to reach 2.4 per cent, down from the previous forecast of 3.2 per cent.

Fitch suggests that PNG’s recovery could speed up toward the end of the year and heading to 2022 once PNG’s vaccination rollout is clearer, there is a gradual lifting of travel restrictions, and the Porgera gold mine reopens. (Fitch Solutions)


Kina Bank has introduced a new fee-free account, Kina Everyday, which can be opened with a minimum balance of K10.

‘We want to take banking back to basics with better customer service and no unnecessary fee gouging. We think this is morally and ethically the right strategy,’ said Greg Pawson, Kina Bank’s CEO. ‘We want to continue this trend in 2021.’ (Kina Bank)


SP Brewery Ltd has officially launched its new corporate website. It aims to highlight SP Brewery’s involvement in sports, agriculture and entertainment as well as the work of the SPB Foundation. (SP Brewery)


The MSME Council has asked the government to make available the next K200 million funding for SMEs through the ‘Credit Guarantee Corporation under BPNG [Bank of Papua New Guinea], whose role is to provide guarantees for SMEs to borrow against.’

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MSME Council President Des Yaninen reportedly said this because many SMEs did not qualify for last year’s fund allocation due to lack of collateral. Yaninen also suggested Kina Bank, the Women’s Micro Bank and MiBank be involved this time around. (The National)


Simberi operations. Credit: St Barbara

The Australian-based mining company St Barbara Ltd has released the results of a feasibility study to expand its Simberi gold operation in PNG.

The Simberi Sulphide Feasibility Study suggests St Barbara could increase the nameplate capacity at Simberi by up to 10 per cent. St Barbara’s board has approved US$13 million (K46 million) in pre-investment work. A final investment decision on the expansion is expected in March 2022.

‘The fundamentals of this project are robust, with an anticipated mine life of around 11 years and a payback period of three years,’ said Craig Jetson, St Barbara CEO & Managing Director. (St Barbara)


Photograph of the week

PNG Anzac Day 2021

Credit: Office of the Prime Minister & NEC via Facebook

On 25 April, Prime Minister James Marape commemorated ANZAC Day at Bomana War Cemetery, where he gave a speech to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Commander of the PNG Defence Force, Secretary of the Department of Defence, veterans and general public. In his speech, the Prime Minister mentioned the importance of the Kokoda Campaign, remembered the fighting in Milne Bay, Morobe, Madang, Sepik, Manus, East New Britain, Bougainville, Central and Oro provinces and paid tribute to the men and women who served the country.

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