The National, Thursday 13th June 2013
By GYNNIE KERO
LIHIR Mining Area Landowners Association (LMALA) has invested K40 million in a lending facility to provide locals with business capital, chairman Peter Suar says.
He disclosed this yesterday after the LMALA and the Kina Group of Companies announced a low-cost business loan and investment programme for business development in the region.
Suar said: “LMALA and Kina have developed criteria to enable business-minded Lihirians to take advantage of opportunities that would contribute towards building a sustainable and vibrant community … in line with the Lihir destiny.”
The signing of the loan and investment agreements between Kina and LMALA would enable Lihirians to borrow personal loans.
Access to finance is normally not available to landowners as banks have restricted lending to persons with current credit history.
The local islanders (Lihirians) who wished to borrow funds would first be coached on personal viability training to ensure they would be able to repay their borrowed capital.
Suar said the landowner group recently launched a K30 million lending facility with Mineral Resource Lihir (MRL).
Kina chief executive officer Syd Yates said: “The Lihir business leverage system is a facility that now enables Lihirians to have more access on a range of business loans by partnering Kina Finance Ltd
He said the Kina Finance Ltd would facilitate loans while the Kina Funds Management (KFM) will invest LMALA’s money to grow the wealth of all Lihirians.
It is hoped that the leverage system would enable Lihirians to take advantage of both mine-related and non-mine-related business targets.
The funds under management are expected to be loaned out by the end of 2013.