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This blog is brought to you by Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, a financial advisory services and consulting company based in Suva, Fiji.
To contact the authors of this blog, please call telephones (679) 3342719, (679) 3544897 or e-mail info@gilbert.com.fj.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Local firm offers business and investment advice

This is an article on our company printed in the Fiji Times.

A local company has been formed to provide investment, financial and business advisory service to Fiji residents working overseas and sending money home. With remittances expected to top F$400 milliion this year, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, hopes that with good advice large amounts received as remittance from overseas will bring better returns to recipients.

Company managing director, Gilbert Veisamasama, said the injection of substantial funds to Fiji could be used better if remittees were advised properly. "We have offerred investment advice to rugby players playing abroad and those who wish to set up buisness in Fiji".

Mr Veisamasama said Fiji citizens who were about to receive their FNPF funds at 55 years of age had approached the company for advice and finance planning.

With large payments made such as to the Monasavu landowners, the upcoming backpay for civil servants and lease payment, the company is offering to help recipients put their money to better use.

Mr Veisamasama's business partner is Sakimi Samuels. Both have more than 20 years experience between them in the finance and legal sector. Both are professionals. One is a chartered accountant, barrister and solicitor, and licensed investment adviser.

Note : Fiji residents (or any foreign investor) who wish to use our company's services can contact us at Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited on telephone +679 3396427, +679 9921427, or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Telecom Fiji saves F$10 million a year

Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL) is expected to save F$10 million a year as a result of a restructure that started two years ago. Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) said results showed the program was on target to meet its objectives. A number of revenue streams identified under the program are now producing returns. The program was launched last year and was aimed at improving productivity and efficiency.

TFL is a subsidiary of ATH and holds an exclusive licence to provide domestic transmissions of voice and data in Fiji until 2014.

The Amalgamated Telecom Holdings group includes Telecom Fiji Limited, Vodafone, Fiji Directories, Internet Services (trading as Connect), Transtel Limited and Exceed Pasifika Limited.

Sugar plans with European Union

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

The much awaited multi million dollar sugar restructuring plan was submitted to the European Union this week. The plan will include financing for an eight year program to make sugar growing and manufacturing internationally competitive.

Major investments are planned to boost farm production, mill efficiency and create new sources of income.

Indigenous landowners are likely to benefit from financial aid to assist the Native Land Trust Board open up more land for cane farming and other agricultural ventures.

Government said that the financial aspects of the plan have to be negotiated and finalised but it has hinted that the total package will be very substantial.

Air Pacific buys out Sun Air

Air Pacific Limited has bought Sun Air for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is in line with Air Pacific's wish to expand and service domestic routes. From 1 July, Sun Air will be known as Fiji Airlines Limited. Air Pacific would start by servicing Sun Air routes with its fleet.

The company said that all aircraft would be refurbished and new ones bought. Negotiations were also in progress with manufacturers for the acquisition of new aircraft capable of flying to all airports in Fiji.

The airline has an ATR42 to fly the Suva, Nadi and Labasa routes and to Rotuma when the island's runaway is repaired. The 44 seater aircraft will also service Tonga and Vanuatu from Nausori to supplement Air Pacific flights from Nadi.

The company said that its reentry into the domestic aviation market was triggered by the Government's request for it to examine the possibility with the aim of providing improved services.

The company said the rapid means of providing improved services was through the acquisition of one of two domestic airlines which was accomplished after months of negotiations with Sun Air.

FNPF to build F$10 million complex

The Fiji National Provident Fund will build a F$10 million retail complex in the heart of Lautoka by 2008 as part of its investment projects. The complex would add a new face to Lautoka and set new standards in complex designs capable of attracting international retailers. Tappoo Limited is the head lessee of the proposed complex. McDonalds and KFC will also be tenants. The complex is expected to be a place where families could have fun, eat, enjoy and relax and also a venue where visitors and locals can socialise.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Intercontinental chain to manage Natadola hotel

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Intercontinental Hotels Group has been appointed to manage the Fiji National Provident Fund's (FNPF) Natadola Marine Resort development. Currently under construction and due to open in late 2007, the Intercontinental Resort Fiji join a growing network of Intercontinental resorts in the region and around the world.

The Natadola Marine Resort project covers 640 hectares of coastal property and is set to become one of the region's premier tourism destinations. One of its key features will be the world class 18-hole golf course designed by world famous and Fiji born golfer, Vijay Singh.

Adjacent to the Intercontinental Resort Fiji and managed by one of the most respected golf course management companies in Asia Pacific, IMG, the course will feature ocean views from 16 of its 18 holes, with seven playing down to and along the water's edge.

The resort will feature 275 rooms including beachside accommodation, garden rooms, and hilltop villas with private plunge pools. There will also be a standalone spa, a Club Intercontinental Lounge and a choice of exceptional restaurants as well as access to the golf course, racquet club and other impressive facilities.

Note from GV : Foreign investors that wish to invest or set up business in Fiji can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, for advice and to arrange all necessary approvals, licences and permits required. Our contacts are : telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

New wings for airline

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

New routes will be covered by national carrier, Air Pacific, with the acquisition of five new aircraft. The company announced the purchasing of five Boeing 787-9 dreamliner aircraft and the purchase rights for a further three. The new aircraft has the capability to operate non-stop with full 320 passenger loads between Fiji and points in China (including Beijing and Shanghai), India (including New Delhi and Mumbai), and from South America to the US East Coast like New York.

The five aircraft will commence service in August 2011 and 2012 and cost around F$1.6 billion. Boeing 787-9's offer lower operating and maintenance costs, lower fuel consumption and increased passenger comfort.

The airline said that there would growth the Fiji's export industry as the aircraft can carry 22,000 kilos of freight. The company is working with producers to find more products to export.

The existing fleet of wide-bodied B767-300 and B747-400 will be returned to their lessors after the delivery of the new B787-9s.

Note from GV : Foreign investors that wish to invest or set up business in Fiji can use our company for all necessary work and advice. Our contacts are : Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Fijian Holdings Limited acquire stake in Golden Manufacturing Limited

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) announced that it has acquired a 30% stake in Golden Manufacturing Limited (GML). FHL announced that the acquisition was based on an assessment of GML's stable performance in the last five years and the prospects of growth in the future.

The investment will be part of FHL's growing exposure in Fiji's manufacturing sector and is expected to yield stable dividend returns to FHL in future.

Note from GV : Foreign investors that need assistance to set up business or invest in Fiji can use our company's services. Our contacts are Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Gold Mine Company to invest another F$27.5 million

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Emperor Gold Mines Limited announced that it would invest another F$27.5 million into Vatukoula over the next 18 months. The investment includes the establishment of a workers relief fund of F$300,000 to assist in the overall reorganisation of the workforce.

The company said the commitment was made as part of an accelerated development program at the mine. This was based on new geological information which provided greater certainty on future reserves around Philip Shaft at the mine.

The program's key objectives was to change the focus of the mining plan to lower tonnes and higher grade, enhance the efficiency of operations and thereby ensure the long-term sustainability of the mine. The program also includes development of the higher grade areas in the vicinity of Philip Shaft and upgrading of associated shaft infrastructure.

Also included will be a comprehensive assessment of the entire workforce including a retraining program to ensure that the mine has appropriate skills to assist the company in its long-term sustainability.

Note from GV : Foreign investors that wish to invest or set up business in Fiji can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, for all necessary background and consulting work. Our contacts are by telephone on +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Oil Company in Fiji awaits sale decision

The sale of Shell Fiji will be made over the next few months. The company's general manager was not able to confirm how many firms had shown interest in purchasing the oil company. He said, however, that prospective buyers had been given access to key information on the company's Fiji operating and financial performance over the past year. The next phase is for prospective buyers to firm up their position and make a formal offer to purchase the company.

Local firm to design hotel

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

A local architectural firm, Yellow Architects, has been chosen for the redevelopment of the former Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH). The local firm was chosen as the architect and lead consultant for the soon-to-be redeveloped 120 room hotel.

GPH to be known as the Crowne Plaza Grand Pacific Suva. It is a joint venture between Fiji National Provident Fund Investments Limited and Fiji Investment Corporation. The hotel will be managed by the Intercontinental Hotels Group under their Crowne Plaza brand. IHG also manages the neighboring Holiday Inn which is owned by FNPF Resorts Limited, a subsidiary of the Fiji National Provident Fund.

Construction is expected to start before the end of the year.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

No permit for US$6 billion bank

The Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Board (FTIB) has turned down an application for a Foreign Investment Certificate from Triunion Investment Holdings Limited, a representative of the Office of the International Treasury and Control (OITC).

The FTIB, after its due diligence, said that the applicant had no fixed address or office nor any reliable contact addresses which are pivotal to any approval of applications. It said that it therefore was not possible to guarantee reliability or credibility to the application and the proposed activity which was being sought.

Local representatives of the OITC are expected to meet with FTIB officials next week to discuss issues. The Reserve Bank of Fiji, the bank licensing authority, has said that they will also make a comment next week.

Taj eyes Fiji potential

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

A major hotel chain in India, Indian Hotels Company Limited, has shown interest in Fiji with hopes of expanding its operations here. The hotel's subsidiaries area collectively known as Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces and are recognised as one of Asia's largest and finest hotel companies, incorporated by the founder of the Tata Group.

Tata Group is India's largest private sector group with over 93 companies in various sectors. The first Taj Hotel in India began operations in 1903.

The Fiji Visitors Bureau said the introduction of a Taj Hotel in Fiji would add another dimension to the hospitality industry given the vast experience the company had in customer service and how they anticipate a person's needs in their service delivery.

Note from GV : Companies that intend to invest or set up business in Fiji can use our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, to arrange all necessary licences, permits and approvals required for their establishment, and for related advice. We can be contacted on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

F$3 million start for Kontiki Growth

Kontiki Growth Fund Limited, a company listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange in Suva, invested F$3.1 million during its first year of operations. The company invested in a number of ventures around Fiji ranging from the Savusavu Harbourside tourist property development to Suilven Shipping.

Savusavu Harbourside Limited received F$250,000 in funds invested by Kontiki Growth for property development which will include an upmarket mixed-use complex consisting of 14 apartments, nice offices and nice shops.

Another investment venture was Oceanic Communications, a web development and interactive marketing agency through which Kontiki invested F$200,000.

Another investment was in i-Pac Communications, which trades as Unwired Fiji, the first wireless broadband Internet provider in Fiji. Kontiki invested F$570,000 into i-Pac.

While the overall result was a net loss of about F$100,000 the company said it was optimistic that it was headed in the right direction.

Note from GV : Readers that wish to invest on the South Pacific Stock Exchange can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj for advice.

Carlson Group builds a new resort in Fiji

The Carlson Group is building a new resort at Denarau Island in Fiji to be known as the Radisson Resort Fiji. The resort is to be opened in May 2007 and will only be the second for the group in the South Pacific region. It will have 270 rooms and the largest swimming pool in the South Pacific. An investment of $93 million by the company is financing the project.

Note from GV : Foreign investors that need assistance to set up business or invest in Fiji, can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Estee Lauder adds splash of Fiji Water in new fragrance

Estee Lauder will team up with Fiji Water for a new fragrance. Each bottle of the new scent will contain a splash of Fiji Water, the pure natural artesian water bottled in Fiji. The fragrance, inspired by Fiji, is infused with the native Fijian Tiare flower, tropical petals and the lush sparkling Polynesian waters, producing a scent that is supposedly vibrant and sensual. It will be available at select department and specialty stores in America this month.

Westin's first Pacific Resort opens in Nadi

The first resort of the Westin chain has opened at Denarau, Nadi. The Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa, formerly known as the Sheraton Royal Denarau, opened last Saturday after undergoing a US$15 million facelift.

The resort had a complete makeover of its 271 rooms, swimming pool, arrival area, suites as well as enhancements to the resort restaurants and cocktail lounge. A $4 million "heavenly spa" was also added.

The Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa is an upscale five-star resort, spread over 30 acres of prime beach front land on Denarau Island.

Note from GV : There are a number of incentives available to foreign investors that wish to invest in Fiji. Foreign investors that need assistance can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Tenders call for highway

The Public Works Department will award five tenders for the completion of the King's Road at the end of the month. The Department has advertised for tenders and will make a decision of those at month end. A Chinese company, COVAC, which had earlier been awarded the tender, only completed 40% of the work over the past four years. The successful tender would be given a deadline of 24 months to complete the work.

Housing Authority reviews its interest rates

The Housing Authority is reviewing its interest rates to see whether there is a need to increase them. This has come about after the commercial banks in Fiji raised their interest rates in the last week, following another official interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Fiji. The Authority said that while they are mindful of their customers, they also have to look at the costs of borrowing, new borrowing, capital projects for land and housing development before determining anything.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Portable Internet for Students

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

Unwired Fiji has launched a new Educational Plan which is aimed at attracting tertiary students in need of Internet connections anywhere on their campus. The company said that students welcomes the plan with more than 100 students having signed up for it since its launch last month.

The company offers a nomadic wireless telecommunications network where a phone line is not needed for a dial up connection. The company said that mobility and easy connection were some their greatest selling points.

Since its launch in October 2005, the company now has close to 1,000 customers from the Suva and Lami areas as services are limited to these areas. The company said that it hard keeping up with customer demand.

The company expects to make a profit at the end of its first year and expects to start expanding its services to other parts of Fiji.

The company fees that there is a lot of potential in the area, particularly with tourists who would be able to hire modems during their stay in Suva.

FijiCare incurs over F$600,000 loss

Taken from an article in the Fiji Times.

FijiCare, a medical insurance company listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange in Suva, yesterday announced that it would be paying out any dividends for last year. The announcement comes a day after financial results for the company showed it making a loss of F$626,450 after taxation in 2005.

The company said that a number of issues resulted in the loss ranging from unexpected losses, competition and overseas medical treatment.

A number of major medical schemes produced large unexpected losses and these accounts were not renewed.

Renewed competition in the local medical insurance business also caused many schemes to be unprofitable and unsustainable.

The company said that the continuing increase of overseas medical treatment together with hardening of overseas currencies increased the company's overall claims costs.

The company has since conducted a full review of all parts of its business and have made some significant changes to set the business for a turnaround and strong recovery in 2006.

Note from GV : The Fiji Government has a number of incentives and tax benefits in place to encourage companies to list on the South Pacific Stock Exchange. Any foreign investor that may need assistance on this or any related matter can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Asian Development Bank to lend Fiji $220 million for projects

The Asian Development Bank is prepared to lend Fiji F$220 million for give projects to upgrade roads, develop rural and outer islands, rehabilitate airports and develop the natural resource base and renewable energy.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fijian Holdings Limited declares F$2 million dividend

Summarised from an article in the Fiji Times.

Fijian Holdings Limited, a company listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange in Suva, Fiji, has declared an interim dividend of F$2 million. This is an 100% increase compared to the F$1 million dividend given out in the same period last year.

The company said the increase was based on its favourable results for the six months ending December 2005, the buoyant performance of most of FHL group companies and their outlook for the next six months. The group's investments in the construction, food and beverage manufacturing and finance sectors performed exceptionally well, capturing the upswing in construction and consumer demand.

The company expected to make more than F$5 million net profits after tax in 2006, for the first time.

Note for investors : The Fiji Government has concessions and incentives in place to encourage companies to list on the Suva Stock Exchange to encourage development of the stock and capital markets in Fiji. For assistance on what these are and how one can list on the exchange, you can contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on telephone +679 3396427 or e-mail gilbert@connect.com.fj.

Air Fiji to get new aircrafts

Two new aircrafts for Air Fiji will be arriving soon. They are both 19 seater planes of the Harbin Y12 March 4 type and were bought from China. Their arrival brings the Air Fiji fleet numbers to 13. The aircrafts cost US$10 million and will be used to service tourist routes including Savusavu and Taveuni.