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Polye: PNG Government's sale of Oil Search shares step in the right direction

Staff Reporter | 9:13 PM |
Former Opposition Leader Don Polye has commended the government for the sale of its 10 percent stake in Oil Search saying its a step in the right direction.

“The 1.3 billion UBS loan taken in 2014 to acquire 149 million shares in Oil Search was a bad decision in the first place.  Although the shares were acquired at AUD $8.20 a piece, there was no business justification available then in 2014 to buy the 10% shares to support such an astronomical loss to the country.  The oil prices were falling and business climate developed by the PNG LNG construction phase was declining.  Nonetheless what happened, happened”, Mr Polye said.

“Today the country is experiencing recession and certain strategic measures need to be undertaken and one of which is of course the sale of these 9.8 per cent Oil Search shares.”

Polye said this decision will free up the economy of liabilities the K3 billion loan incurred.