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CEO Greg Pawson highlights how the acquisition will create a stronger and more effective banking sector for both PNG and Fiji.

The shareholders of Kina Securities Limited (KSL) have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the acquisition of Westpac PNG and Westpac Fiji by Kina Bank, at its Extraordinary General Meeting held this morning in Port Moresby. CEO Greg Pawson confirmed this after the meeting saying it was a great show of confidence by the shareholders.

“We are very excited about this opportunity, and creating a stronger and more effective banking competitor for PNG and Fiji. The acquisition is perfectly aligned with our current strategy to be a dynamic and innovative full-service regional bank with a market leading digital platform.”

After the proposed acquisition, there will be a newly branded bank, independent and separate from the existing Kina Bank brand and it will compete directly with all commercial banks in Fiji and PNG, including Kina Bank.

“It’s a really positive story and it will be a great outcome for customers from a service and product perspective. Creating a brand-new bank means there will be more customer choice, more competition and more innovation. With the proposed acquisition we will be able to introduce fee free banking options; a new suite of world class digital products and services; and we will be able to re-price business lending, making it more cost effective for business customers to access funding.”

This means there will be no lessening of competition and no prospect of a duopoly or market dominance. The proposed acquisition will position and enable Kina to take banking back to basics at an additional scale, with better customer service and a focus on lowering the cost of banking in both PNG and Fiji.

A major benefit of this proposed acquisition is it will pave the way for local investors to participate through equity raising and will further provide opportunities for PNG investors to be part of an ASX/PNGX listed company, joining many local PNG investors such as Comrade Trustee Services Limited and MRDC.

“It means everyone has the opportunity to be an active shareholder in an ASX/PNGX listed company which provides more local investment opportunities, this is important for the region,” added Mr. Pawson.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in both Fiji and PNG and the Bank says it is working closely with the regulators on this.