Fiji Business Briefs: Fiji Airways charter, Kontiki results

Photo: Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways defends Israel charter flight arrangements

Fiji Airways says it has adhered to ethical business practices in the running of last year’s charter flights to Israel, but has admitted the charterer has missed an instalment due in December last year. A complaint has been lodged with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) over the flights. In a statement, Fiji Airways says a Deed of Forbearance and guarantee entered between Fiji Airways the charterer “was a prudent and lawful measure taken to protect the company’s interests, and ensure a viable payment plan.” It says there has been no reduction in the amount owed for the charter, and that the ariline is in “ongoing communication with the charterer, and expects to receive full payment of the outstanding balance of the charter price in coming weeks.” It says the decision to operate the charter was purely commercial, and considered the charter’s past record. That charterer, WABS Pacific has declined local media requests to detail when repayments will resume, saying only:  “The company… acts as facilitator and service provider for its clients and is bound by our charter agreement to meet necessary payment. Terms of agreement between WABS Pacific and Fiji Airways including terms of agreement between WABS Pacific and her clients ICEJ Fiji and Faith Harvest remain confidential in nature.”

Reserve Bank of Fiji maintains accommodative monetary policy stance

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) has sustained an accommodative stance, holding the Overnight Policy Rate at 0.25% amid economic uncertainties. Governor Ariff Ali highlights tourism-driven economic growth but notes challenges in investment and primary sectors. The RBF says inflationary pressures and foreign reserve adequacy remain within acceptable ranges. With global and domestic risks identified, the RBF pledges vigilance and flexibility in monetary policy alignment.

Movers and Shakers

BSP has appointed Miliana Susau Tavakaturaga as its new General Manager of People and Culture.

Meanwhile, Udit Singh has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS). He was previously CEO of Milk Test NZ, a subsidiary of dairy and pharmaceutical giant Fonterra. Singh will take up the role in March.

FNPF urges employers to provide correct narration for contributions

The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) has reported a recurring issue with employer contributions, citing over 650 cases of remittances lacking accurate details monthly. This oversight affects more than 35,000 members, delaying their savings postings. CEO Viliame Vodonaivalu urges employers to rectify narrations, including invoice and reference numbers. Failure to comply incurs a $100 penalty per member monthly, with over $100,000 collected so far. Members are advised to monitor contributions via the myFNPF App.

Kontiki Finance reports 84% increase in total comprehensive income

Kontiki Finance Limited (KFL) has revealed its Total Comprehensive Income (TCI) soared by 84% in the six months ending 31 December 2023, compared to the previous year. KFL recorded a TCI of $5.3 million in the period. Group Earnings per Share (EPS) surged by 83%. Chairman Barry Whiteside noted: “We anticipate a continuing positive outlook in the coming year as Fiji’s economy continues to improve,” in a statement to shareholders.

Tanoa Hotel Group is the official home of the Fijian Drua

Tanoa Hotels has announced a two-year partnership as the official home of the Fijian Drua. The collaboration extends to the Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua Women’s team, with Tanoa Hotels branding featured on jerseys. Drua CEO Mark Evans has welcomed Tanoa as an official hotel, acknowledging their longstanding hospitality and integral role in Fiji’s tourism landscape.