Lihirians boom in property venture

Business, Normal

The National, Friday 06th January 2012

THE acquisition of three commercial office buildings in Australia clearly puts Lihirians way ahead of all resource landowners in PNG.
They had invested their money earned from royalties in sustainable income-generating businesses.
The latest purchase was a 19-storey well-tenanted building for A$40 million from Australia’s AMP Finance, one of Australia’s largest superannuation, insurance and finance companies, right in the heart of Brisbane’s central business district (CBD).
This acquisition boosted Mineral Resources Lihir Capital Ltd’s growing property portfolio to K155 million, which represented 30% of the company’s total assets.
Managing director Thomas Tanasu said in his latest company newsletter: “The company now has a total value of K155 million in properties under management.
“Three of the properties are in Australia and two are in Papua New Guinea.” 
“The properties are spread over both commercial and residential with three commercial office complexes in Australia and two executive residential apartments in PNG.” 
  He said the company planned to increase their property investment to K220 million and would look at investing in Canberra and Sydney.
Sydney-based Papua New Guinean realtor Okuk Rogerson is the company’s real estate agent on the look-out for properties to purchase.
The A$40 million property in Brisbane called Flight Centre is located in the “Golden Triangle” of the CBD and the anchor tenant is Flight Centre itself,  while the Commonwealth government occupies 84% of total office space.
Other tenants included Personal Best Australia, Gloria Jeans Coffee and others while the remaining 3% was yet to be filled.
MRLC also purchased two other commercial properties in Cairns, which are the CBA Building on 76 Lake Street for A$8.5 million and a newly constructed three-level property on 120 Bunda Street, which was bought for A$18.8 million.
The Bunda Street property was leased by Queensland’s Health, Correctional Services, Education and Work Place Relations and Environment departments.
The PNG properties are both in Lae.
One for K6.1 million is on Doyle Street in Eriku and the other was purchased for K5.1 million at the corner of Cassowary Street and Eagle Street.
The Cassowary property was fully occupied by Digicel’s Mamose regional executives.
MRLC board chairman Mark Soipang praised his board and management on the investments and thanked his management team for working “diligently” to grow the property portfolio of the company.
He also announced that Tanasu’s contract had been extended by another four years after it expired last year.
“The acquisition of Flight Centre House in Brisbane is indeed a milestone.
“Lihirians are now proud owners of this 19-storey office complex, which stands in the heart of Brisbane CBD.
“I urge all Lihirians to do away with petty politics and meaningfully support the board and management in growing the assets of the company for the benefit of future generations of Lihir,” Soipang said.