By PATRICK TALU
OPERATING against the challenges of the global economic crisis, PNG’s largest superannuation fund, Nambawan Super Limited (NSL), achieved strong results and growth last year with its most recent report announcing a solid profit of K191 million for the year after tax.
Chief executive officer for Kina Securities Syd Yates yesterday said clearly the superannuation industry in PNG was continuing to develop strongly, despite recent turbulence on the global market, with the sector benefiting from improved regulation and increased economic maturity and political stability within the nation during the past decade.
In making the announcement last month, NSL chairman Sir Nagora Bogan said the fund had achieved strong growth in its total assets, which increased by K210 million throughout the year to K2.83 billion.
In addition, total membership of the NSL and its retirement savings accounts also grew strongly, totalling 113,546 at the year’s end.
“By any measure, last year was a difficult year for business and investment.
“The global financial crisis battered a wide range of industry sectors around the world, tightening the global flow of money and putting intense pressure on investment markets,” Sir Nagora said.
“Against these very challenging conditions, the board is very pleased to report that the fund has delivered yet another solid result for our members.
“The board’s prudent approach to managing members’ money has stood the fund in very good stead. This places the fund in a very strong position to take advantage of improvements in the various markets for the benefit of our members,” he said.
Mr Yates said the announcement by NSL came just weeks after another of PNG’s super funds, the National Superannuation Fund Limited (Nasfund), also reported strong results with a net profit of K205.617 million for last year.
“It is worth noting that these results have seen both NSL and Nasfund outperform many of the leading international superannuation funds throughout the past year.
“Clearly, PNG’s burgeoning financial sector is continuing to play a vital role in the lives of all individuals as they seek to maximise their economic foundations, plan for major expenses and invest funds back into the domestic economy through development initiatives and infrastructure programmes.
“Importantly, a strong and healthy financial industry will ensure that PNG can build a solid foundation for sustained economic growth and prosperity in the years to come,” Mr Yates said.
He added that the country was continuing to see the benefits of improved industry regulation, now overseen by the Bank of Papua New Guinea, which has instilled strong consumer confidence in the financial market and subsequently allowed for increased growth and expansion of PNG’s financial institutions.
Importantly this strong growth is a genuine reflection of the increased maturity throughout PNG to financial services, and to the benefits of responsible economic and fiscal management which have been a key feature of our nation in recent years.
Clearly, Papua New Guineans at all levels are continuing to embrace the savings culture, with many now actively looking towards traditional methods of asset enhancement, be it superannuation or share market investment.