By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Aitkin Spence Plc together with the Fuji National Provident Fund (FNPF) entered into an agreement with the government of Fiji to acquire between them 59 percent shareholding of Fiji Port Corporation Limited,an entity wholly owned by the Fiji government, which manages all ports in the country.
The shareholding of Aitken Spence in Fiji Port Corporation Limited will be 20 percent. The investment by the company would be around Fiji dollars 34.6 million, which will be subject to the approval of the Central Bank and other regulatory authorities, Colombo Stock Exchange sources said.
Aitken Spence would prepare a master plan to develop the ports of Fiji, and the government expected the ports to generate real job growth in all associated sectors of the economy, sources told the Island Financial Review.
Aitken Spence has been recognised for three consecutive years by Forbes as one of the most successful publicly-traded companies with annual sales under US$1 billion outside of the United States.
It has been a partner in Fiji Ports Terminal Limited since August 2013. During that time, it has increased productivity by 60 percent, improved vessel turnaround time by 33 percent and increased net profit by 49.5 percent, amounting to an increase in net profits to FJ dollars 2,773,235, in its first year of operations.
FNPF is Fiji’s largest financial institution, with total assets valued at Fiji dollars 4.9 billion.