29 Jun 2009

Fiji's Colonial National Bank looks set to be sold

1:18 pm on 29 June 2009

Fiji's Colonial National Bank looks set to change from Australian to Papua New Guinean ownership.

The Bank of South Pacific, or BSP, has made an unconditional offer for the potential purchase of the Commonwealth Bank's banking and insurance businesses in Fiji.

BSP is the largest retail and commercial bank in Papua New Guinea with 55 percent market share.

Its chief executive officer, Ian Clyne, says it would not be strategically sound to focus solely on increasing business at home.

"However it very much is a Melanesian cum Pacific bank. It makes sense to us to look to expand in the Pacific. We currently have the largest operation Solomon Islands. We do have a two-branch network in Fiji. It's very small, as well as we do have a branch in Niue."

Ian Clyne says BSP has good expertise in emerging markets and understands the issues Pacific nations face.