Growth of funds flat: Fleming

Business

By CLARISSA MOI
THE growth of funds managed by Bank South Pacific Financial Group Ltd (BSP) is flat compared to last year, BSP chief executive officer Robin Fleming says.
He added that capital advisory opportunities had slowed, reflective of the economy hit by a combination of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and delays in launching resource projects in the country.
Fleming said this while providing an update of the group’s subsidiary, BSP Capital Ltd, a capital advisory and funds management business, accounting for about K7 billion in funds under management.
“With overall economic activity in PNG being affected by a combination of the Covid-19 and delays with commencement of resource projects, total funds under management across the industry has seen flatter growth than in previous years,” he said.
“And capital advisory opportunities have also slowed down, which is reflective of the economy.”
Fleming noted that the Covid-19 had impacted all businesses and their growth plans which BSP Capital would typically be positioned to provide advice upon.
“With the second and third waves of the Covid-19 in PNG and the accompanying Delta variant, the focus of many businesses is redirected to business continuity and staff support as well as dealing with more cyclicality in sales volumes than would normally be the case.
“And as a result future growth opportunities was not as highly prioritised as would otherwise be the case,” he said.
“BSP Capital remains hopeful that with the strong encouragement by the Government for broader vaccination of the public, businesses will be able to redirect attention to their own future capital and growth requirements.
“Especially when Porgera will recommence in 2022 and the prospect of some early works for Papua LNG at the end of 2022 remains positive.
“This will generate business growth opportunities for BSP Capital’s clients and should also see the potential for more access to BSP Capital’s wealth management products.” In line with the requirements of the PNG Capital Market’s Act 2015, BSP Capital sold its interest in the PNG National Exchange in 2018.
It had also divested its stockbroking business to JMP Securities Ltd to focus on its capital advisory and funds management business following a strategic review of the business in 2018.
Fleming said BSP Capital was operating profitably and the divestment of its stockbroking business had enabled costs to be more effectively managed.

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