Local Market Summary
• Papua New Guinea Treasurer Don Polye and the Labour and Industrial Relations Minister Mark Maipakai have been sacked from cabinet during the week.
• The government of PNG has given clearance for a USD1.2bn loan to fund its stake in Oil Search limited. Prime Minister Peter O’Neil signed off for the UBS Investment Bank Loan on Tuesday in his capacity as the acting Treasury Minister. Prime Minister O’Neil said the loan would be obtained under a joint arrangement between state owned agencies The Independent Business Corporation (IPBC) and the National Petroleum Company PNG and that Bank of PNG was the independent financial adviser ensuring that the loan satisfied all terms and conditions set by the UBS investment Bank.
• The World Bank and all commercial banks have announced the commencement of usage of the Real Time Gross Se2lement System, which is a part of the Kina Automated Transfer System (KATS). All banks are currently testing this change and it will be introduced mid this year.
• Ramu 2 hydro power project will start soon. IPBC will be carrying out the new hydro power project that would provide a projected 140-180 MW renewable power boost to the Ramu grid thus servicing Lae, Madang and the entire highlands region.
• National Development Bank (NDB) customers may be able to carry out transactions via SMS messaging. NDB’s acting Managing Director Moses Liu noted that this commenced the launch of a range of electronic banking services that the bank would provide to its customers.
• Credit Corporation PNG Ltd (CCP) has reported a K85.2 million operation profit being financing, property and dividends received was up K4.66 million from last years K80.54 million. Group total assets reached K1042.30 million at year ended, being a moderate increase from K1084.94 million at the end of 2012. CCP NPAT for the year was K59.1million, down 45% compared to K106.9 million in 2012.
• Kina Asset Management Ltd announced a record Net Profit after Tax of K8.2 million for the financial year ending 31 December 2013. Further to the announcement, the company released NTA of K1.13 for the month of February.
• Bank South Pacific (BSP) launched its new BSP Visa debit card in Suva. BSP Fiji country wide manager said this is the first time they have introduced this debit card in Fiji after it was introduced in PNG 5 to 6 years ago.
• Papua New Guinea Superannuation Fund (NASFUND) Chief Executive Officer Ian Tarutia says superannuation coverage should be universal and not just limited to companies with 15 or more employees.
International Market Summary
• US data reports showed a 2.8% fall in the unemployment insurance in the week at the back of reports showing 0.3% increase on retail sales in February.
• European shares fell on Thursday in response a coupling impact of weak Chinese economic data and the on-going nervousness about the political situation in Ukraine ahead of Sunday´s referendum in Crimea. Investors remained concern that European equities have become more expensive relative to current earnings. The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 1.1% with the UK FTSE lower by 1.0%, and the German Dax was down by 1.9%.
• At the ASX market, a broad sell-off pushed the market deep into the red as rising tensions in Ukraine, weak Chinese data, and further falls in the copper price spooked investors for this week.
• World oil prices were mixed on Thursday as at the backdrop of weak Chinese economic data and supply disruptions in Europe with the on-going tensions between Europe.
• Gold price rose in the week in response to the weaker tone of the markets. Alluding to risen Gold price, Newcrest Mining (NCM) rallied 9% to $12.44 (see NCM graph in the PDF attachement below)
• Supermarket giant Woolworths has promised a jobs bonanza next year in the face of a series of manufacturing closures this year that has seen thousands put out of work, and will open 108 new stores in the 2014 fiscal year to create 6,981 jobs.
Click on the link below to view full report in PDF.