BSP eyes National out Bank of Samoa

Business, Main Stories

The National – Wednesday, July 6, 2011

BANK South Pacific has offered to buy the shares of The National Bank of Samoa’s stockholders in a bid to boost its regional presence in the South Pacific.
BSP chairman Kostas Constantinou said the possible acquisition of a controlling interest in the National Bank of Samoa was an important and exciting opportunity for BSP.
The National Bank of Samoa operates six branches across Samoa, with total assets of about 147  million  tala  (about K146 million).
Constantinou said BSP had recognised that Samoa was a “vibrant and well performing economy and was keen to make this investment”.
He said: “BSP is already the leading bank in the South Pacific and the anticipated purchase of the National Bank of Samoa would further enhance BSP’s regional presence.”
The initiative advanced the bank’s South Pacific strategy with   dialogues between the two banks taking place.
The offer was subject to a number of conditions including a minimum acceptance level of 75%, due diligence, which would be undertaken over coming weeks and the approval of both regulators — Central Bank of Samoa and Bank of PNG.
Subject to these conditions being satisfied, it was expected that the transaction would be completed toward the end of September.
BSP, whose major market is in PNG, initiated its Pacific expansion when it purchased Westpac’s Niue’s operation in 2004.
This now included the purchase Habib Bank in Fiji in 2006, the National Bank of Solomon Islands, now BSP, in 2007 and the acquisition of the former Colonial Bank and Life businesses, now BSP and BSP Life, in Fiji in 2009.
Earlier, the chairman of the National Bank of Samoa, Sili Epa Tuioti has dismissed reports the bank is in the process of being sold, The Observer newspaper reported. 
However, he later revealed that BSP had emerged as possible buyer.