In brief: Telstra gets green light from NICTA to acquire Digicel Papua New Guinea


NICTA clears path for the acquisition of Digicel PNG by Australian telco giant Telstra, Barrick and Papua New Guinea sign new Porgera shareholders’ agreement, and SP Brewery celebrates 70 years in Papua New Guinea. Your round-up of recent business news.

New shareholders’ agreement between Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the State of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) nominee, Kumul Mineral (Porgera) Limited. Credit: Porgera Joint Venture


The National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) has given consent for the formal transfer of licence rights to Australian telco giant, Telstra, to acquire Digicel PNG Ltd, the largest operator in PNG.  According to Timothy Masiu, Minister for Communications & Information Technology, ‘it is very important to note that Telstra has made it clear that under its ownership Digicel PNG will continue to maintain all existing services and networks.’ (Post-Courier)


The NGO Growers Association, based in Kokopo, has launched its website: Local SME digital agency, Be Pacific Digital Agency, helped the NGO with the website, which, in the future, could include digital payment options for memberships, amongst other things. The Growers Association currently supports over 1800 farmers and 20 incorporated groups. (Post-Courier)


A new piggery project is now up and running in Morobe Province. Run by the Central Yabim Women’s Association, the piggery covers the villages of Bugaem, Ngasingaclatu, Sokaneng and Gawenglabu. (The National)


During a recent visit to East Sepik, Prime Minister James Marape talked about his hopes for the region, which, he said, has the potential to become ‘the vanilla capital of the world and an international hub for the cocoa trade’. Two million kina worth of vanilla cutting and cocoa seedlings will be distributed in Angoram so that farmers can cultivate these crops. It’s been reported that PNG could become the world’s second largest vanilla producer.

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PNG is one step closer to the reopening of the Porgera gold mine after Barrick Niugini and the State of PNG through Kumul Mineral (Porgera) Limited signed a shareholders’ agreement. The agreement awaits the signature of Mineral Resources Enga and once this is done it will clear the way for the incorporation of the new Porgera Joint Venture Company and the application of a new Special Mining Lease, a condition for the reopening of the mine. The new joint venture company will be owned 49 per cent by Barrick Niugini Limited and 51 per cent by PNG. Barrick’s President and Chief Executive, Mark Bristow, said in a statement that the company is committed to an early restart. (Porgera Joint Venture)

Airports & travel

Air Niugini hasresumed Fokker 70 services to Nadzab Airport in Morobe Province. The company expects to bring the Boeing 737 by July, when work on the runway is completed. 

Meanwhile, Nadzab Airport’s redevelopment is more than 50 per cent complete and, during an update to members of the Lae Chamber of Commerce, the Project Director, Tom Nou, reportedly said that by the end of this year work on the airport would be 90 per cent complete. (The National) 


During the launch of the Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd (CGC), a joint venture between the Bank of PNG and Kumul Consolidated Holdings to help micro, small and medium enterprises access credit and capital, Prime Minister Marape said: ‘I encourage all the licenced financial institutions to collaborate with the CGC to ensure the credit risk is shared by the CGC and the participating financial institutions, so that the institutions can be encouraged to make credit available to MSMEs.
‘In the Credit Guarantee Corporation, the Government is committed to investing K50 million at the first instance.’ (The National) 


Manufacturing company Goodman Fielder (PNG) has announced it will begin oil-bottling production in May in its multi-million kina manufacturing facility outside Lae, Morobe Province. The company also expects to have feed and flour mills by next year . (Post-Courier) 


SP Brewery is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a commemorative logo that will be featured on the company’s fleet, on cooling equipment out in trade and at its two breweries. During the second part of the year, SP is set to release a limited-edition collectable packaging design the SP Lager bottles and cans. (SP Brewery)


City Pharmacy Ltd Group (CPL) has declared a full and final dividend of four toea per share after recognising a K23 million ‘trading profit’, a 15% increase in comparison to 2020, ‘despite increased competition, substantial surges in the cost of purchases, freight costs and Covid-19’. (CPL) 

Women in business

A new report, Leadership Matters: Benchmarking Women in Business Leadership in the Pacific, has found that women hold 30 per cent of director positions in industry associations, 23 per cent in public listed companies and six per cent in state-owned enterprises.

Launching the report, Dame Meg Taylor, who is an Independent Trustee Director at Nambawan Super, reportedly said that ‘women flourish more in private sectors and as board members’ particularly of two of the country’s superfunds.  (Post-Courier)

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