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EDITORIAL: A Vote Of Confidence In Fiji From Westpac

The potential in the Fijian market, along with Papua New Guinea, has obviously prevented Westpac from selling its operations here. Westpac yesterday made the big announcement that it would sell
30 Jan 2015 11:47
EDITORIAL: A Vote Of Confidence In Fiji From Westpac

The potential in the Fijian market, along with Papua New Guinea, has obviously prevented Westpac from selling its operations here.

Westpac yesterday made the big announcement that it would sell five of its regional operations (Samoa, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga) for FJ$202 million to Bank South Pacific.

However, despite the speculations on Westpac planning to also sell its Fijian operations, the bank decided to retain them.

This obviously shows the confidence Westpac has in the Fijian market and Fiji as a whole.

Not only is the bank retaining its operations here where it has served for 113 years, but also it plans to continuously invest and introduce new products to keep the operations up to speed with international trends.

Westpac sees Fiji and PNG as markets which support its international aspirations by being closely tied to Asia, Australia and New Zealand and the strong flow of capital, trade, and migration.

Westpac therefore remains committed to providing superior products and services to grow its institutional, corporate and business customer base in Fiji.

 

What will this mean for BSP?

 

The possible acquisition of five of Westpac’s Pacific operations in the region will no doubt position Bank South Pacific as a leading Pacific regional financial services business.

Bank South Pacific will then be surely able to make its mark as the pre-eminent bank in PNG and the South Pacific.

It will be able to maximise future opportunities from PNG’s growing long-term trade and economic influence in the region.

As it stands, BSP has assets worth approximately FJ$ $12.37 billion representing approximately 38 per cent of loans and 49 per cent of deposits across those markets respectively.

In PNG, the BSP Group holds approximately 50 per cent market share in both loans and deposits.

With a significant presence in PNG, Fiji and Solomon Islands, BSP’s growth potential has always been likely to come from acquisition or line-of-business investment opportunities.

This acquisition is consistent with BSP’s Pacific -based expansion strategy, which has been maintained since 2006.

Since that year, BSP acquired banking and financial services businesses in Solomon Islands (2007) and Fiji (2006 & 2009).

The presence of these banks and others in Fiji reflects their confidence and financial viability in a robust economy that can sustain the competitive nature of the banking industry.

Performance indicators so far project a bright future for the Fijian economy. The banking industry will benefit from it.

 

Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj




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