By Geraldine Panapasa of Fiji Times
Monday, August 12, 2013
THE Fiji National Provident Fund has remained positive and open with regards to any investment opportunity, says board chairman Ajith Kodagoda.And as trustees for FNPF members, Mr Kodagoda said the board would ensure that any investment would need to meet the investment guideline and criteria.
He made the comment in light of the recent fall-out with Papua New Guinea-based mobile company, bemobile.
In terms of plans to divert investment funds intended for the bemobile joint venture, Mr Kodagoda said they would need to work with the Reserve Bank of Fiji as they had specific approval conditions for this investment fund.
"A key condition precedent relating to the achievement of the approved business plan was not achieved by bemobile," he said.
When asked what the key condition was, Mr Kodagoda said that was "legally confidential".
"As part of the management agreement with Vodafone Fiji Limited, some employees were already contracted by bemobile. Most of them are now back in Fiji," he said.
While the intended $US92million ($F175.7m) investment in bemobile would have meant a 40 per cent stake in the mobile company, Mr Kodagoda said the investment was safe.
He said earlier the money was never invested as capital because the conditions precedent was never met.
Daniel Korimbao, spokesman for PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, told The Fiji Times investing in bemobile was part of their government's strategy to grow the telecommunications sector.
He said the State would pursue this itself or with other partners since FNPF had pulled out of the deal.
According to Post-Courier, the withdrawal from the global telecommunications company dashed hopes by PNG mobile phone users for another carrier to directly compete with Irish-owned Digicel (PNG) Ltd and reduce phone and data rates