Fiji Business Briefs

Fiji’s Trade Commissioner to North America Alika Cooper, Sea & Soil Redox Refinery Pte Ltd Director Rohini Hamid, with staff from Investment Fiji. (Photo: Investment Fiji)

Fiji Cabinet approves review of national minimum wage

Fiji’s Cabinet has given the greenlight to a review of the national minimum wage and will also assess job classifications. The review will include a number of public consultations and stakeholders are also encouraged to make submissions. The review follows the implementation of a FJ$4/hour minimum wage across sectors in 2023.

Retirement age extended

Meanwhile the Fiji government has also extended the retirement age from 60 to 62 years for specialised expert positions in the civil service, effective immediately. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the move is a bid to retain expertise and address skill shortages in critical professions. Extensions beyond 62 years will be subject to case-by-case evaluation.

Fiji Airways expands North American reach

Fiji Airways has announced its collaboration with Porter Airlines to enhance access to Fiji from North America. The airlines say the partnership will allow for seamless connections for travellers, consolidating bookings and luggage handling. Managing Director Andre Viljoen noted it built on Fiji Airways’ ambitions to tap into North America’s strong travel market.

Meanwhile Fiji Airways has announced its platinum partnership with the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) for the 2024 South Pacific Tourism Exchange (SPTE). Fiji Airways will provide flight support for key stakeholders attending the event.

RBF warns against cryptocurrency

The Reserve Bank of Fiji has cautioned the public against the use and investment in cryptocurrencies, emphasising they are not recognised as legal tender in Fiji. Governor Ariff Ali noted the proliferation of cryptocurrency schemes, urging vigilance among citizens and adherence to regulatory guidelines.

Sugar industry launches grower management system

Fiji’s sugar industry has launched a growers management system, aimed at digitally capturing crucial farmer information. Minister for Sugar Industry, Charan Jeath Singh, said it was part of government’s commitment to leveraging technology for industry sustainability.

Meanwhile, Singh has announced a partnership between the Sugar Cane Growers Council and Anchor Care Migration & Consultancy Ltd to address labour shortages. He says through this partnership, foreign workers from Bangladesh will be engaged to work in the industry, especially during peak harvesting seasons.

Investment Fiji facilitates diaspora engagement

Investment Fiji has initiated a business mission to North America, aiming to strengthen ties with the diaspora community and attract investments to Fiji. The initiative is focused on showcasing Fiji’s economic potential and identifying opportunities for local businesses.

Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications,  Manoa Kamikamica will lead the 30-person mission, which will visit Toronto, Surrey, San Francisco and Washington D.C from 4-14 May.

Sea & Soil Redox Refinery is one of the companies joining the mission, with Director Rohini Hamid saying it will be an opportunity to expand their market presence and establish partnerships in sustainable agriculture.

BSP Life achieves historic bonus allocation

BSP Life has declared its highest bonus allocation of $38.4 million for 2023. Managing Director Michael Nacola highlighted sustained bonus levels amid market challenges, attributing BSP Life’s success to customer loyalty and prudent investment strategies.

Movers and Shakers

Toyota Tsusho (South Sea) Limited has announced the resignation of Director Kunihiko Inada and the appointment of Yoshiki Nishimura as his replacement. Nishimura brings extensive experience in the automotive industry and corporate planning to the Board.

Marriott International, Pacific Islands, has announced the appointment of Navneel Prasad as Cluster Revenue Manager, effective 1st March 2024. Prasad previously served as Cluster Senior Revenue Analyst.

ATH Group has announced the resignation of Daksesh Patel as Interim Chairman, effective immediately. Patel will continue as a director until a suitable replacement is appointed, ensuring continuity in strategic oversight.

Pleass issues additional shares

Pleass Global Limited (SPX: PBP) has issued 71,970 additional shares at $5.23 per share on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX) through a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP). And it saw existing shareholders seize the opportunity to acquire new shares without transaction costs, reflecting confidence in PBP and an increasing interest in share investments. More than 75% of the total dividend pay-out to shareholders of $425,062 was reinvested in additional shares.

Westpac youth training and grants

Over 1000 young people benefited from Westpac’s free financial literacy training at the Western Regional Adventist Youth Easter Camp held in Lautoka. The training aims to equip participants with skills to manage finances effectively.

Meanwhile, applications are now open for the 2024 Westpac Women and Girls Education Grants, which gives 30 students the chance to win an education grant in one of three categories: Primary School ($500), Secondary School ($1,000), and Tertiary/Adult Learners ($2,500).

FHL declares strong financial performance

Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) has declared an interim dividend of FJ$3.046 million, reflecting strong performances in tourism, retail, and finance sectors. Its Chairman cites optimistic forecasts tempered by global risks and rising costs for this year. Shareholders can expect dividend payments by April 30.

KGF reports profitable year in 2023

Kinetic Growth Fund Limited has announced a significant turnaround in financial performance. In its director’s report ending 31 December 2023, the Fund reported an operating profit of FJ$311,503, a stark improvement from the previous year’s loss of FJ$440,242.

SPX Market witnesses surge in March 2024

The South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPX) has experienced a surge in trading activity during March 2024. The total volume traded reached 11,224,672 shares, representing a significant uptick compared to previous months. Noteworthy transactions, including a negotiated deal in Port Denarau Marina shares, contributed to the robust market performance. Additionally, the influx of nine new investors underscores growing confidence in SPX-listed securities.

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