Company focuses priority on investments: Official

The National,Wednesday June 29th, 2016

Former PNG Sustainable Development Programme chief executive officer David Sode says the company has changed its focus from development to investment.
Sode, who stepped down as the chief executive officer in April to become a board member, told the PNGSDP annual results meeting in Port Moresby yesterday: “I’m glad to say that the company’s No. 1 priority has been achieved. We are no longer doing development, we are doing investments. Development is on hold.”
Sode said development could not be carried out with no income coming in through the Ok Tedi mine because any development work done by PNGSDP was now deemed illegal. He said the long-term fund remained stable at US$1.3 billion in 2014 and 2015.
“Nobody’s eaten the money, nobody’s taken the money, nobody’s signed instruments, nobody’s mortgaged the money. It is free liquid cash, ready, available and it’s clean,” Sode said.
“That’s an excellent result because we don’t have any more income coming in so we are now moving to investments to try and create more income.
“We’ve changed the investment programme into a far more aggressive and efficient programme.
“Over the last one-and-a-half years, we’ve worked hard to make sure that we get the best return on investments.
“The kind of investments we are looking at is greater than in the past.”
Sode said PNGSDP now had two subsidiaries in PNG, Champion 34 and PNG Micro Finance.
“The draw down of the long-term fund could not begin until the closure of Ok Tedi mine.
“Draw down is where the hiccup starts,” Sode said.