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BSP completes purchase of Westpac in 3 Pacific Island countries

BANK South Pacific (BSP) yesterday announced the completion of purchase for Westpac Banking Corporation operations in three Pacific countries for A$91million (K181.7m).
Chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou said the purchase was for Westpac’s operations in Samoa, Tonga and Cook Islands.
In January this year, BSP announced it had entered on an agreement to buy Westpac’s operations in the above countries.
The transaction was subject to regulatory approval by Bank of Papua New Guinea and respective regulators in each country with all necessary approvals received.
As per the agreement, BSP would acquire Westpac’s operations in Samoa, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga for A$125 million (K249.6m).
Sir Kostas noted that given impact of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, the proposed sale of Westpac’s Vanuatu operations would not proceed at this time.
Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu one month after proposed sale was announced.
He said similarly, the proposed sale of Westpac’s Solomon Islands operations would not proceed at this time. BSP and Westpac were continuing consultation with Central Bank of Solomon Islands to obtain all necessary statutory, regulatory and third party approvals. Managing director and chief executive officer Robin Fleming described the transaction as a major milestone for a Papua New Guinean bank. “We are committed to our customers, our people and communities we operate in.
“This is a special time considering so many of our fellow Pacific Island sportsmen and women are here for the XV 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, of which BSP is proud to be the official sponsor.”
Westpac Pacific general manager Greg Pawson previously said selling the bank’s operations in those Pacific nations reflected Westpac’s desire to increase focus on its growth plans in two largest markets, PNG and Fiji.
BSP, a major commercial banking and finance group across PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji, had assets of approximately K16 billion

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