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BSP clears K150mil forex backlog

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By MARK HAIHUIE
ABOUT K150 million in foreign exchange orders were cleared last month, according to Bank South Pacific chief executive Robin Fleming.
Fleming, pictured, told The National that this was done in relation to the scale of the orders with the bank.
“The backlog has not changed much,” he said.
“During October, it was actually reduced by about a K150 million when the Bank of Papua New Guinea put the US$100 million (K310 million) that was indicated in the 100-Day Plan.
“And that was intended to reduce the backlog for all commercial bank customers by almost K300 million.”
He said the foreign exchange market had improved in comparison to earlier this year on the time it took to meet order by the bank’s customers.
“Smaller customers generally get it the same day if they come in for retail transaction supported by proper exchange control support,” he said. “Whether it is tax clearance documents, they will get it the same day for the smaller value transactions  – maybe K10,000 to K25,000.
“The larger depends on the priority.
“It may take them one or two weeks and some of the smaller ones for other customers may be longer probably up to six weeks.
“It depends on the urgency, the particular sector, whether they have been a longstanding Bank South Pacific customer or not, and a number of criteria we apply.
“Certainly the total outstanding has improved because the Bank South Pacific put the fully US$100 million into the market for the month of October.”
Meanwhile, the Bank of Papua New Guinea said recently it was in the process of reviewing offshore foreign currency accounts to assess if those accounts holders have to remit some of the balances to their inshore accounts.
The Asian Development Bank said: “Papua New Guinea had been suffering from a notable shortage in foreign currency reserves ever since commodity prices took a downturn.”

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