The National, Wednesday October 30th, 2013
THE recent “national interest” amendments to the takeovers Code will negatively impact on the resource sector by creating uncertainties for corporations that are highly regulated under PNG laws.
PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum executive director Greg Anderson said yesterday that since there were no definitions of what constitutes “national interest” it appears that application of this rule is solely the prerogative of the Securities Commission and would result in arbitrary decisions.
He said this would add another level of uncertainty to foreign corporations wishing to invest in PNG’s mining and oil and gas sectors.
Anderson said: “We believe resources companies are already highly regulated and, in terms of ownership, current laws give the National Government the right to take up a 30% stake in any mining venture or 22.5% in any oil and gas project.
“Rather than protecting “national interest” this amendment appears targeted at limiting and restricting foreign investment interest in this country, which is a vital part of the nation’s growing economy”.
Similar concerns raised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry members highlighted among others:
- The Code has been amended to require that the Securities Commission block an acquisition under the Code of shares in a PNG incorporated or registered company if the Commission considers the acquisition is not in PNG’s “national interest”.