In brief: Papua New Guinea’s financial institutions respond to State of Emergency and other business stories


Papua New Guinea’s financial institutions offer businesses support, Oil Search cuts staff, and Air Niugini to resume flights. The business news you need to kickstart your week.

China donation: Xue Bing and Patrick Pruaitch. Credit: LOOP

Banking and finance

The People’s Micro Bank (PMBL) Chief Executive, Anthony de la Cruz, told The National that the institution is planning to provide relief to customers whose sales have fallen or have depleted cash flows as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Small and medium-sized business have had to close shop as a result of the SOE and ‘People’s Micro Bank will accommodate requests for a loan repayment holiday of up to three months … [it] simply means there shall be no payments of principal and interest for a three-month period and no penalty fees.’


To help its corporate customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Robin Fleming, Bank South Pacific’s (BSP) Chief Executive, said the bank is discussing support packages which may include three-month interest only payments to help them ease the burden on cash flows. (The National)

BSP also announced a reduction of one per cent in its indicator lending rate (the base interest rate banks use for loan products) to 10.1 per cent.


To support business cash flows, Kina Bank has announced it will reduce ‘all local currency overdraft interest by two per cent per annum [effective 6 April]’.

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Besides investing an additional K250 million in Treasury Bills, ANZ PNG also announced several measures to help PNG business through the coronavirus crisis. These include: reduction of 1.00 per cent per annum on all local currency overdraft interest rates for corporate customers; no quarterly loan administration charges for corporate customers, and financial support packages to corporate customers on a case by case basis, among others. (The National)


Kumul Petroleum’s Wapu Sonk. Credit: WBG

Kumul Petroleum‘s Managing Director, Wapu Sonk, presented to the PNG government an extra K5 million on top of a K100 million interim dividend payment for 2020. PNG’s National Oil Company hopes this funding helps in the fight against COVID-19. ‘These are hard times for everyone, and the company too is going through tough times itself due to the recent sharp decline in oil and LNG prices, which is the sole revenue source. Despite the challenges we face as a company, for us it has always been about giving back to the country, so helping the country in its time of need, far outweighs  any need for self-preservation,’ Sonk said. (Kumul Petroleum)


Last week, Oil Search announced that, given the current situation and the lack of certainty in the oil price outlook, it has made the ‘very difficult decision to reduce its staff’ in Sydney, Australia, and Anchorage, Alaska, by about 100 people.

Oil Search’s Managing Director, Keiran Wulff, also announced salary cuts for the company’s board and executive team: ‘Oil Search’s Board and the executive team have also agreed to a 20 per cent salary cut for the next six months.’ (Oil Search)


Ela Beach Hotel Source: Coral Seas Hotel

Due to PNG’s SOE and the international travel bans put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, Coral Sea Hotels has closed Ela Beach Hotel. The Post-Courier reports that all employees were sent home with full pay. (Post-Courier)

Due to significantly reduced business following the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Holiday Inn Express has decided to close until further notice. ‘Any guests with upcoming reservations will have the option to cancel or reschedule for future dates, without incurring any fees. If your booking is in the coming weeks, our reservations team will contact you directly over the next few days. If your booking was made through an agent, you will need to contact them.’


PNG Ports Board Chairman, Kepas Wali, announced the unaudited annual financial results for 2019 and said the company recorded a new profit after tax of K77.07 million, a whopping 94 per cent increase from 2018. (LOOP PNG)


Last week, Alan Milne stepped down as Air Niugini’s Managing Director. The decision comes as a result of the pandemic. ‘Unfortunately the COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the airline industry and also my capacity to travel back and forth to my family in Australia,’ Milne reportedly said. ‘As hard as this decision has been, my family must come first.’ Air Niugini has appointed Link PNG’s General Manager, Bruce Alabaster, as Acting CEO. (Post-Courier)


Air Niugini will recommence domestic flights as of 6 April. (Air Niugini)


The Chinese government has given Papua New Guinea US$300,000 (K1 million) to help in the fight againts the coronavirus (COVID19). The Chinese Ambassador, Xue Bing, presented the cheque to PNG’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Patrick Pruaitch, last week. (The National)

Photograph of the week

Chilling out. Paradise Foods’ James Rice [left], Central Province Governor Robert Agarobe and Jelta Wong, Minister for Health. Credit: Paradise Foods

The oldest food manufacturer in Papua New Guinea, Paradise Foods, visited last week Morauta Haus, a government building in Port Moresby, to serve Gala ice-cream to the joint task force. They are helping to coordinate the COVID-19 response and are working 24/7 days to keep PNG safe. Central Province Governor Robert Agarobe and Minister for Health Jelta Wong joined Paradise Foods and its Group CEO, James Rice.


  1. Masi Fuawe says

    Are commercial banks considering no repayment for principal and interest for the 3 months for personal loans too?

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