Friday, March 20, 2009

Chief queries oild deal

Chief queries oild deal - By Unaisi Ratubalavu
Saturday, March 21, 2009

REWA's paramount chief Ro Teimumu Kepa has queried the acquisition of BP Oil by Fijian Holdings Limited.

In a letter to FHL's managing director Sereana Qoro on Thursday, Ro Teimumu said FHL was conceived by the Great Council of Chiefs in 1984 at a time when Fijian confidence in participating in the commercial sector was at an all time low.

This was after clear indications of the collapse of the two major investments in the Native Land Development Corporation and the Fijian Investment Development Corporation in which the GCC held shares through the Fijian Affairs Board.

"It was not easy to convince the provincial councils to raise shares in another Fijian-owned company but it was out of respect which they had in the GCC which enabled the majority of the provincial councils to raise the inaugural shares for the company," Ro Teimumu said.

She added that the recent intervention on the company's corporate structure, executive positions and now the proposal to acquire BP South West Pacific Limited have caused concerns to Fijians, including the people of Rewa.

Ro Teimumu said a meeting scheduled for the province's development committee will discuss this move by FHL.

And Ro Teimumu has sought answers from Mrs Qoro on the proposed $190-million to buy BP Oil Pacific.

The acquisition was done last December, is the largest investment FHL has undertaken in its 24-year life.

FHL Energy Limited, a fully-owned subsidiary of Fijian Holdings Ltd, successfully won the bid to acquire the oil company.

This is the first time a oil company will be owned locally.

Attempts to get comments from Mrs Qoro yesterday were futile.

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