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PNG well on growth path into the 2020s: ANZ
5:05 pm GMT+12, 11/08/2019, Papua New Guinea

While ANZ has sold its retail business to Kina Bank, it hasn’t sold out its commitment to the country as the bank sees a growth path well into the next decade, according to its country head Mark Baker.
Baker relayed the sentiments during the opening of ANZ’s new corporate banking centre.
“We are very excited about the future of Papua New Guinea.
“Yes we go through ups and downs, (and) yes there are certainties and there are some uncertainties which is still there today.
“But we are still firmly of the view that when we look into the decade in 2020s, this is a country which potentially is on a growth path which I think we haven’t seen on a sustained basis if ever before, and this is thinking about PNG LNG, thinking about Papua LNG, Wafi, it is thinking about the fact that the original debt for the first PNG LNG project is largely paid off by the mid-2020s and there are other projects that come in behind it as well,” Baker said.
He said the bank will also maintain its corporate responsibility through its financial education programs, despite the change in its business model that is expected to be in full effect, post September.
“Through our money minded programs, they be money minded for individuals or money minded for SMEs, those money minded programs such as financial education will go on despite the change in our business model.
“We are very committed to making sure that we still are responsible corporate citizen and we still are helping people grow in the wider Papua New Guinea as well.
“We see an amazing future for this country and that is driven in such a large part by the private sector.
Baker added that once the transition to Kina of its retail portfolio completes, there may be a concern on the visibility of the bank in the country.
He said the opening of its corporate centres beginning in Port Moresby, then to Lae and then Goroka will provide reinforcement of its presence.
“These branches are again very visible locations and we are very clear to people that ANZ is not leaving we are staying.
“We believe that we will be here, not just for the 108 years we have been here already but for another 108 years and on top of that,” said Baker.
Meanwhile, ANZ is set to complete its divestment in its retail segment to Kina Bank next month, it has begun investing in its corporate clientele focus following the opening of its first corporate centre at Central Waigani in Port Moresby, last week.
Baker, said the corporate centre in Waigani will provide the very same service and capability its Harbour City branch has.
He said the centre was set up around corporate clientele feedback, taking into considering its growing base of corporate clients that need more over the counter services.
“The most important thing for us in terms of this location was actually talking to customers.
“Because once we realised the customers and the significant numbers would still need to use our services over the counter for service deposits, cheques, and the likes; we knew we had to talk to them and find out what was important for them if they are moving, quite often, large amounts of cash in and out of their banking partner.
“What we were told were really three things, one wanted it to be secure, second thing they wanted it to be speedy, they also wanted to be convenient in terms of location,” Mr Baker explained.
He said whilst the location a little away from the arterial road, its strategic location enable various entry points for customers can access.
“Whilst we are sort of at the back a little off Waigani drive, this location you can get to from three different roads, you have one from the Hilton Hotel way, two different roads that come off Waigani drive.
“For people who are carrying large amounts of cash who may want to change their routes and keep people perhaps off-guard, they are not doing the same thing every day or the same day of the week.


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