In brief: privatisation talks over Papua New Guinea’s state-owned telcos and other business news


Privatisation talks take place for Telikom PNG and Bmobile, government commits to ending large scale logging by 2030 and Telstra begins its move to acquire Digicel. Your digest of the week’s business news.

Digicel dishes in PNG. Credit: BAI


The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has received a clearance application from Telstra Corporation seeking approval for the proposed acquisition of Digicel (PNG) Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiaries in PNG, Digicel (PNG) Financial Services Limited, Hitron Limited and Site & Towers (PNG) Limited. (ICCC)


Nambawan Super’s Reginald Monagi

Preliminary talks have been held on a non-committal basis between the government and Nambawan Super Limited (NSL) regarding the possible partial privatisation of state-owned telecommunications businesses, according to Chairman Reg Monagi.

‘There are still a number of steps to be undertaken before NSL can make any commitments regarding SOEs, including the telcos. But it is pleasing generally to see the State’s willingness to allow the private sector to take majority control of some of those businesses.’ (The National)


PNG’s business people are not yet convinced Telstra‘s deal to buy Digicel Pacific will deliver benefits in the form of lower prices and improved competition, according to a Business Advantage PNG reader poll conducted over the past week.

Only a third of respondents (34 per cent) agreed the deal should lead to lower prices and improved competition. (Business Advantage PNG)


The Autonomous Region of Bougainville commenced a 14-day partial lockdown to control the COVID-19 pandemic at midnight last Sunday. Public events, business hours and non-essential travel have been curtailed, and a curfew introduced. (Autonomous Bougainville Government)

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PNGX’s David Lawrence

PNG’s stock exchange, PNGX, has welcomed the truce brokered by the Prime Minister which appears to have put an end to legal battles over control of country’s capital markets regulator, the Securities Commission of PNG.

‘The previous uncertainty about the Chairmanship of the Securities Commission has been a significant barrier to both development of the capital market in Papua New Guinea and the ability of companies, large and small, to access capital,’ said PNGX Chairman, David Lawrence in a statement.

Robert Salmon-Mina has been confirmed as Acting Executive Chairman of the Securities Commission, pending the appointment of a permanent chair. (PNGX)


Prime Minister James Marape says there are management and board issues at the National Development Bank, which will be looked into. His statement follows an independent audit of the bank which showed ‘systematic internal control failures’ at the state-owned financial institution. (The National)


Mayur Resources has completed a renewable energy study for its recently granted Special Economic Zone based on its Central Cement & Lime project. The study indicates that an installed solar power capacity of around 500 megawatts (MW) could be achieved within the SEZ. (Mayur Resources)


Link PNG and PNG Air can now code-share following authorisation that was granted to the airlines by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC). (The National)


Papua New Guinea’s Special Envoy to COP26 in Glasgow, Minister for Environment Conservation & Climate Change Wera Mori, says PNG is adamant about ceasing all logging, on a large scale, completely by 2030.

‘It is now a formal Government policy to ban round-logging by 2025 and ban logging entirely by 2030,’ he said during COP26. ‘The biggest question now is monetisation of our efforts – how do we get compensated?’ (Dept of PM & NEC)

Climate change

PNG has signed up to Australia’s Indo-Pacific Carbon Offsets Scheme, one of the first countries to do so. Under the scheme, Australia will share technical expertise in carbon accounting with PNG and other countries in the region to enable them to meet their emissions reporting obligations. It will also deliver ‘renewable energy and nature-based solutions projects’. (Dept of PM & NEC)


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