Friday, June 28, 2013

NASFUND looks to invest in Fiji

From NASFUND June e-Newsletter

FIJI’S potential as an ideal investor location was discussed by National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND) Chief Executive Officer, Ian Tarutia, at the recent Fiji Institute of Accountants Congress 2013 held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island early this month.
The event has been the premier meeting ground for Fiji’s private and public sector movers and shakers for many years.
Mr Tarutia was invited by Fiji’s Accounting Congress Committee following a marked increase in PNG’s institutional and private investors’ participation in Fiji.
One such investment is the joint venture between NASFUND, Lamana Development and Fiji National Provident Fund in the much-anticipated FJ$90 million investment redevelopment of the 5-star Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Grand Pacific Hotel Suva is 50% owned by NASFUND, 25% by Lamana Development with Fiji National Provident Fund owning the remaining 25%.
Tarutia said that NASFUND’s Board of Directors considered three fundamental issues as part of the decision making process to invest in Fiji: i) the quality of their joint venture partners, ii) hotel management capability and iii) the Melanesian connection with Fiji.
He added that “for NASFUND, with its high growth, excess liquidity and limited opportunities in conformance with its investment guidelines in the PNG economy, other jurisdictions had to be explored. Importantly portfolio diversification from single country risk is another consideration NASFUND takes into account. With the after effects of the Global Financial Crisis still reverberating in the western world, the Pacific region which remain unscathed was a natural area for opportunities.”
NASFUND’s first ever investment in Fiji, the Grand Pacific Hotel redevelopment, has been a catalyst of much=needed economic activity in capital Suva since works commenced in 2011.
Initially built by the Union Steamship Company in 1904, this legendary and luxurious hotel has accommodated dignitaries like Her Majesty the Queen of Britain and other reputable individuals who graced Fiji and the Pacific back then.
The revival of one of Suva’s most iconic landmark after two decades of it closing its doors is seen by some Fijians as a sign of more grandeur things to come and with it hope that NASFUND and other PNG investors will continue with their prudent investment in other business opportunities in Fiji.

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