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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.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Problems with our e-mail address

We have been having problems with receiving e-mails on our addresses with the following suffix @gilbert.com.fj. If you send an e-mail to investinfiji@gilbert.com.fj and have the email returned, you can send it to our other addresses on gilbertv2@connect.com.fj or gilbertv2@gmail.com.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fiji Sugar Corporation records F$6 million profit

The Fiji Sugar Corporation has recorded a F$6.9 million profit for the year ended 31 May 2007. This compares with the F$7.2 million loss made in the 2006 financial year.

The profit has been attributed to the sale of surplus sugar to the European Union after Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries could not fulfill their EU quota. There were also significant improvements in mill performance and production during the year.

The company said that it sold one shipment of sugar to the European Union at three times more than the world sugar price.

The company and the sugar industry is also undergoing a restructure which is expected to be completed in 2008.

The upcoming challenge for the industry is the reduction in preferential sugar prices by 2009.

Fiji Sugar Corporation is listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange in Suva.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Seminar : Hidden Profits in Exporting to the USA

The Fiji Trade Commission, Los Angeles, in conjunction with the FTIB will be conducting a seminar on profitable exporting opportunities to the USA on Thursday, 11 October 2007, at the Southern Cross Hotel, Suva.

The workshop topics include :
  • Profitable exports to the USA - come and learn which Fiji exports to the USA are growing and profitable, and how your products can be promoted in USA trade shows through the Fiji Trade Commission.
  • Hidden Profits in Exporting to the USA - learn the technical and business issues of US import requirements, customs regulations, logistics, distribution channels, etc, and how these can make your businesses more profitable, with special examples on : handicraft and gift items, black pearls, agro business, fisheries, timber and mahogany, and manufactured goods and food products.

Presenters are :

  1. Ilisoni Vuidreketi - Fiji Trade Commissioner to the USA;
  2. Ashok Sadhwani - Expert and Consultant in USA International Trade Compliance and Operations.

Who should attend?

  • exporters and established businesses with a product(s) ready for export;
  • export-ready companies and established businesses who are non-USA exporters;
  • micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs);
  • current exporters to the USA will also find the seminar useful.

Registration fee is F$35.00 per person. For registration, pls contact Ms Alka Nand at FTIB on telephone (679) 3315988 or e-mail alka@ftib.org.fj.

Registration closes today, Tuesday, 9 October 2007.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Internet rates still to fall

Internet charges by the various Internet Service Providers operating in Fiji are still to come down after the Commerce Commission ruling recently.

While the telephone and mobile telecommunications providers, Vodafone Fiji and Telecom Fiji, have reduced their rates from 1 October 2007, Connect Fiji, Kidanet and Unwired Fiji are still to reduce their charges for Internet.

Telecommunications, Internet and utilities make up a major proportion of the costs of running a business in Fiji.

We would expect the rates charged by the various Internet Service Providers to fall over the next few days.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

New E-mail Address

We have a new e-mail address for this blog site. Our new e-mail address is investinfiji@gilbert.com.fj. Over the next two months, we will be working on designing and running on-line our new website http://www.gilbert.com.fj/ and will look at linking this blog directly to that website. If you have any enquiries on this, pls send an e-mail to our new address on investinfiji@gilbert.com.fj.

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Business sentiments improve

The June Business Expectations Survey conducted by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) revealed that respondents expect business conditions to improve in the next 12 months.

Read more in a Fiji Times article below.


"Business sentiments improve: RBF, Friday, October 05, 2007

The June Business Expectations Survey shows relatively more respondents expect business conditions to improve in the next 12 months, says the Reserve Bank of Fiji in its September economic review.

The RBF says the results of latest business surveys suggest a gradual recovery in business sentiments since December.

The review said while trade gap had improved so far this year, the exports sector had not recovered significantly and import, while declining, remain more than double the value of exports.

At the end of August, the official foreign reserves level stood at $865.7million (provisional), sufficient to cover four months of goods imports.

The bank said inflation rate had now eased for two consecutive months.

Apart from the lower price of transport items, the improved supply of market produce continues to have an easing impact on prices, the bank said.

Inflation stood at 5.1 per cent in August compared to 6.4 per cent registered in July. The bank said year end inflation might turn out to be lower than the current forecast of 7 per cent.

Furthermore, the review said labour market conditions remained weak, as low confidence in the private sector continued to have a dampening impact on recruitment intentions.

Cumulative to August, hiring intentions, as measured by the RBF job advertisements survey, fell by around 8.5 per cent over the corresponding period last year. The review said weaker employment prospects were noted in several sectors including finance, insurance, real estate and business services, mining and quarrying, electricity, water and construction."

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another project : Preparing a new Prospectus for Unit Trust of Fiji

We are currently working on another project; preparing a new Prospectus for the Unit Trust of Fiji. The current prospectus expires on 7 November 2007 and a new prospectus is being prepared that will apply for 3 years from 8 November 2007.

The major part of this work is to ensure that the new Prospectus complies with all capital markets, unit trust, trustee laws, regulations and rules as well as the Unit Trust of Fiji's Trust Deed.

The prospectus is a primary document referred to by potential investors when considering investing in a particular instrument.

Entities that source investments in Fiji's capital markets are required to prepare prospectuses which are to be approved by the Capital Markets Development Authority.

For any assistance on a similar project or any other work involving banking, financial sector, capital markets and unit trusts, please contact us via e-mail to gilbert@connect.com.fj or call telephones (679) 3396427 or (679) 9921427.

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Colonial to reduce interest rates further

Colonial National Bank will be reducing its interest rates further with effect from 22 October 2007.

The reduction will see the 12 month fixed rate for home loans fall to 8.5% from 9%. The variable rate on home loans will fall to 10.5% from 11%.

The Business Banking base rate will reduce to 10.2% from 10.7%.

The reduction in interest rates have been brought about by an increase in the bank's liquidity position over recent months.

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FNPF Board to release Natadola report

The Chairman of the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) Board of Directors, Peceli Vocea, said that they will be releasing the Ernst & Young special audit report on FNPF gradually for public consumption.

This assurance was made after increasing calls for public accountability to the Fund's members on how their funds had been managed.

A subsidiary of the FNPF said that the decision to invest in the Natadola hotel project was made by the Fund without carrying out proper independent due diligence.

The FNPF Board Chairman said that the release of the Report to the public would facilitate a good debate on its contents and ultimately encourage people to make suggestions on how to deal with the recommendations in the Report.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fiji TV profits fall

The Fiji Television Group's profits after tax fell to $856,903 for the year ended 30 June 2007 compared to F$3.6 million recorded in the 2006 financial year.

The Group said that its financial results were impacted by the overall reduction in revenue for its Fiji operations and an increase in programming and satellite delivery costs across the Group.

The Group's revenue, however, had risen by 12.5% to F$24.5 million compared to its 2006 financial year but had been 24.3% below budget.

The Group includes Fiji Television Limited, Communications Pacific Limited and Media Niugini Limited at Papua New Guinea.

Fiji Television Limited is listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange.

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Inter-region call rates down by 10%

Telecom Fiji's Inter-region call rates fell by 10% with effect from 1 October 2007. The new call rates are :
  • Inter-region (e.g. Suva-Nadi, Suva-Labasa, Labasa-Lautoka) - 20.76 cents per minute from 23.06 cents per minute;
  • Fixed line to mobile - 50.12 cents per minute from 55.69 cents per minute.

For more information, pls visit Telecom Fiji's website on http://www.tfl.com.fj/.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Telecommunications rates fall from today

Telecommunication rates fall with effect from today, 1 October 2007. Here is information mobile telecommunications rates for Postpay customers :
  • Mobile to Mobile, 16 cents per minute from 18 cents per minute;
  • Mobile to Fixed Line, 41 cents per minute from 46 cents per minute;
  • Voicemail, remains at 9 cents per minute;
  • TXT messages, remains at 20 cents per message;
  • Mobile to International, 41 cents per minute + IDD rate, from 46 cents per minute + IDD rate.

New Telecom Fiji international call rates are as follows :

  • calls to Zone Z (e.g. Australia, NZ) - 60.03 cents per minute from 75.04 cents per minute;
  • calls to Zone V (to toehr South Pacific countries) - 75.23 cents per minute from 94.04 cents per minute;
  • calls to Zone Y (e.g. China, France, Japan) - 75.23 cents per minute from 94.04 cents per minute;
  • calls to Zone M (e.g. Australia, NZ mobiles) - 83.59 cents per minute from $1.0449 per minute;
  • calls to Zone X (e.g. Bahamas, India, Turkey) - $1.1399 per minute from $1.4248 per minute;
  • calls to Zone W (e.g. Kenya, Palau, Vietnam) - $1.5122 per minute from $1.8902 per minute;
  • calls to Zone I (Inmarsat) - $13.50 per minute from $16.8750 per minute.

Figures are provided in Fijian Dollars and cents. For more information, pls visit the two companies' respective websites on http://www.vodafone.com.fj/ and http://www.tfl.com.fj/.

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2007 DHL Exporters of the Year Award



The Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Board (FTIB) has begun preparations for the 2007 DHL Exporters of the Year Award. Applications are being sought from businesses that export products and services from Fiji.

The relevant application forms can be downloaded from the FTIB website, http://www.ftib.org.fj/.

Tickets to the Awards Night are also selling at F$150.00 per entry.

For more information, please contact Ms Jogina Yang on telephone (679) 3315988 or email jogina@ftib.org.fj.

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Fiji ranked 36th best in terms of ease of doing business

Fiji has been ranked 36th in a list of 178 countries around the world in terms of ease of doing business. The rankings were done by the World Bank and is published in its report - Doing Business 2008.

Fiji's ranking has fallen slightly from 31st, however, it remains as the best in the Pacific region.

The rankings are based on 10 indicators of business regulation that tracked the time and cost of meeting government requirements in business start-up, operation, trade, taxation and closure. These indicators include both economic and social factors.

The World Bank report also found that equity returns are highest in countries that are reforming the most.

The rankings do not reflect such areas as macroeconomic policy, quality of infrastructure, currency volatility, investor perceptions or crime rates.

For information on obtaining licences for setting up business in Fiji, pls refer to the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau website on http://www.ftib.org.fj/.

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Colonial National Bank Interest Rates (Updated 1.10.07)

Schedule of interest rates released by Colonial National Bank are as follows :
  • Business Banking Base Rate - 10.70%;
  • Residential Property Loan : Variable Rate - 11.00%, 1 Year Fixed Rate - 9.00%;
  • Investment Loan : Variable Rate - 11.00%, 1 Year Fixed Rate - 9.00%;
  • Retail Term Deposits : 9 months - 3.50%, 1 year - 3.50%, 1.5 Years - 3.50%, 2 Years - 3.50%, 3 Years - 3.50%.
Interest rates are on a per annum basis and may be varied by the bank without prior notice.

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Westpac Interest Rates (Updated 1.10.07)

Schedule of interest rates released by Westpac Fiji are as follows :
  • Business Lending Rate - 10.49%;
  • Residential Property Loan : Variable Rate - 10.25%, 1 year Fixed Rate - 8.50%;
  • Investment Loan : Variable Rate - 10.25%, , 1 year Fixed Rate - 8.50%;
  • Retail Term Deposits : 6 to less than 9 months - 1.25%, 9 months to less than 1 year - 1.75%, 1 year to less than 1.5 Years - 1.75%, 1.5 years to less than 2 Years - 1.75%, 2 years to less than 3 Years - 1.75%.
Interest rates are on a per annum basis and may be varied by the bank without prior notice.

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Home Finance Company reduces term deposit rates

Home Finance Company Limited, a deposit taking institution licensed by the Reserve Bank of Fiji, has reduced its 1 year term deposit rates to 4.5% from 5.5%, with effect from 1 October 2007. This rate is presently more than what the banks offer for the same term. For more information, pls contact your nearest Home Finance Company branch or check interest rates charged by other banks on this blog.

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