BANK South Pacific (BSP) has been given the go signal to complete its acquisition of Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s operations in Fiji.
BSP signed a deal with CBA acquiring all the shares of National Bank of Fiji Ltd, Colonial Fiji Life Ltd and associated companies.
However, the deal will have to be approved by Bank of PNG and by the Reserve Bank of Fiji. The necessary tax issues with the CBA would have to be resolved too.
BSP advised in a statement yesterday that all approvals had been received.
National Bank of Fiji trades as Colonial National Bank and enjoys a market share of around 20% of the Fiji banking sector.
Colonial Fiji Life is the market’s leading life insurer in Fiji which was set up in Fiji more than 130 years ago.
National Bank of Fiji held over K790 million in total assets as of last June 30.
Total assets of Colonial Fiji Life were in excess of PGK516 million on the same date.
The group reported earnings this year of K24.5 million.
BSP managing director and chief executive Ian B Clyne said the transaction was probably the “most important strategic advance” that BSP has made since the merger with the PNG Banking Corp (PNGBC) in 2002 and that formal settlement was expected to now take place some time this week.
BSP and CBA have entered a transition services agreement (TSA) where CBA would continue to provide certain support services to the Fiji operations.
This included the services of the current managing director Laurie Mellsop and certain senior executives.
All other details regarding the sale remain confidential.