In brief: Papua New Guinea’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook shows inflation slowing, and other business stories


Papua New Guinea’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook shows inflation slowing, Airbus wins race to replace Air Niugini fleet, while Securities Commission revokes Melanesian Trustee Services Limited’s trustee license. Your business news in brief.

Credit: K92 Mining


The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook presented to Parliament last week suggests the inflation rate for the year will fall from 5.7 per cent to 5.5 per cent. The inflation rate forecasted for next year is expected to be below 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, non-resource GDP is projected to increase from 4.6 per cent t0 4.8 per cent in 2023. The projected 2023 Budget deficit remains the same, at K4.984 million. (Department of Treasury)


After an investigation into Melanesian Trustee Services Limited (MTSL), the Securities Commission of PNG has revoked its trustee licence, meaning MTSL is no longer the Trustee Manager of the Pacific Balanced Fund. Weatherman Capital Advisors Limited has been appointed interim trustee of the fund. (Post-Courier)


On the other hand, MTSL has suggested it will appeal against the decision. In an interview with a local newspaper, the Chief Executive Officer of MTSL, Lawrence Stephens, added: ‘[MTSL] is taking all necessary legal action to defend the interest of the unit holders of Pacific Balanced Fund against unlawful actions taken by government officials.’ (The National)

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Mining & energy

Newcrest Mining has announced statutory and underlying profit of US$778 million for its financial year ending June 2023, 11 per cent lower than the previous year. This was in spite of a 7 per cent increase in revenue, on the back of a 10 percent increase in gold production and an 8 per cent increase in copper production.

The drop was attributed to ‘a lower realised copper price, higher depreciation, higher operating costs … a decrease in Newcrest’s share of profits from its associates and an increase in finance costs.’

A shareholder vote on the company’s sale to Newmont Mining, which is recommended by Newcrest’s board, is expected in October. (Newcrest Mining)


Canada’s K92 Mining has announced positive results for Q2 2023, with production growing 43 per cent from Q1 2023.

The Chief Executive Officer and Director of K92, John Lewis, says that ‘the balance sheet is strong, standing at US$95.6 million cash and no debt at quarter end.’

K92 also announced the completion of the Stage 2A plant expansion in May this year while its Stage 3 expansion is also progressing. (K92 Mining)


Mining company St Barbara has recorded a net profit of US$294 million (K892 million) for Q4 2023. The company behind PNG’s Simberi gold mine (in Simberi Island, New Ireland Province) has said that its strategic focus is ‘solely on the Simberi expansion project and its projects in Nova Scotia, Canada.’

The Simberi mine resumed operations in 2022. Simberi produced 25,189 ounces of gold in the quarter, 55 per cent higher than the March quarter and the best production quarter since Q4 2020. (St Barbara)


The Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) has launched its Data Management Strategy 2023-2025, becoming the first public service agency to launch one.

The document will help the IRC adopt a more data-driven approach that will help drive evidence-based policy making. IRC Commissioner General Sam Koim said such approach will help gain ‘valuable insights into taxpayer behaviour, economic trends and market dynamics’ as well as better collaboration and action. (IRC)


Minister for State Enterprises, William Duma has announced Airbus has won the race to replace Air Niugini’s current Fokker fleet, in preference to Embraer.
‘The Airbus A220 can operate both domestic and international routes with more capacity. It burns 27 percent less fuel than the current fleet for the same sectors and has greater comfort and operating efficiency,’ he said.
‘This is the first time for ANG to purchase brand new regional jets,’ said Acting CEO Gary Seddon. ‘The Fokker jet aircraft have done their part for the last 25 years and it’s time to replace them with a game changer aircraft.”
In total, the airline will acquire a total 13 new aircraft, 11 Airbus A220 narrow body jets and 2 Boeing 787 Dreamliner wide body jets, at the cost of K2.55 billion. The Airbus A220 should join Air Niugini fleet from 2025 onwards. (Air Niugini)

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