Technology & growth: Moni Plus looks to a banking licence and IPO


Despite the pandemic’s severe economic impacts in Papua New Guinea, financial institution Heduru Moni Limited (trading as Moni Plus) achieved record-breaking revenues and profits in 2021. Business Advantage PNG sat down with the company’s new CEO, Aho Baliki OBE, to discuss its successes and ambitious plans for growth.

Moni Plus’ Aho Baliki. Credit: Moni Plus

Business Advantage PNG: Tell us about what sets Moni Plus apart from other financial institutions.

Aho Baliki: We are a market leader in finance, with a healthy loan book and growth of over 65 per cent in the past year. It clearly suggests that we must be doing something our competitors are not. Our response to clients is a serious priority to us. We have a strong customer base of over 40,000 and ensure they are given a good turnaround time for their loan applications.

Community involvement is also a priority for us and we are involved with the community, also variety of sporting bodies, NGOs and charitable organisations. We are not just a financial institution, but instead we are seen as truly a partner with the wider community.

BAPNG: What are your plans for ensuring the continued growth of Moni Plus?

AB: Moni Plus has already grown from a small family company over 22 years ago to a corporate entity. It is important that we strengthen the board and management to ensure we have the necessary governance and compliance, and appropriate human resources to continue this upward trend.

We have capable employee strength of 200 who are successfully managing the Moni Plus business at Port Moresby and provincial branches at Mt Hagen, Lae, Kokopo and Alotau. We are expecting to see these branches grow over the next few years with the opening of six new branches. Our plan for the immediate future also involves pursuing a banking licence and becoming a commercial bank.

‘We are in the process of ensuring we are compliant and meeting the Central Bank’s minimum requirements for obtaining the banking licence.’

BAPNG: Can you go into a little more detail about the process of pursuing a banking licence and what this would mean for Moni Plus?

AB: I would say we are currently more than adequately ready to become a bank. We are in the process of ensuring we are compliant and meeting the Central Bank’s minimum requirements for obtaining the banking licence. The IFC’s (International Finance Corporation) involvement has been a fundamental part of this process, and in the overall strengthening of our governance and compliance protocols.

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One of the next steps that we have in mind is issuing an IPO in the near future. This would strengthen our capital requirements and further give Papua New Guineans, local businesses and landowner groups the opportunity to participate in our business. Both the IPO and banking licence will be essential to further strengthen our growth and will allow us to offer an increased array of products.

BAPNG: What role are you expecting technology to play in the institution’s growth?

AB: Not only IFC but with our partners’ assistance this has been essential in allowing us to develop our technologies. We want to ensure that our technology platforms have the capacity to sustain our growth and cater for future opportunities. The digital services and products offered in PNG are also becoming more accessible to the public and this offers its own set of advantages for us.

For example, smartphone technology can increase the efficiency and timeliness of our communications with clients.

BAPNG: I assume that risk management is critical for financial institutions like Moni Plus. How do you go about managing the risk of lending within PNG’s environment?

AB: When writing loans, we ensure that risk and security measures including collaterals are in place. Although we do take risks, they are calculated based on serviceability and sustainability of loans. We are a small organisation and also have many years of data that we can use to assess mitigate risks. PNG is a tough lending environment, and it comes with its own challenges, however we must persevere with our businesses.

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