BSP eyes Asia

Bank South Pacific aims to be the biggest financial institution in Asia and Group Board Chairman, Sir Kostas Constantinou, believes they can achieve that goal one day.

He made the bold statement following BSP’s recent Annual General Meeting in Port Moresby.

Sir Kostas said the opening of an Asset Finance Company in Cambodia has proven to be an excellent decision and they are currently looking at opening in Laos, and have plans for Myanmar as well.

Sir Kostas said the decision by the Board to move into the Mekong Area of Asia followed five years of research into markets similar to PNG that BSP has extensive experience in operating in.

The entry into Cambodia just over 12 months ago has proven to be a masterstroke.

“So to date since we started, the GDP growth in Cambodia is just escalating. We’re only operating for about 12 odd months and making extremely good profits. So it showed that the board made an excellent decision in going to Cambodia.

“Cambodia will be a bigger finance company that we operate now within feeds all our finance companies, this place is expanding so fast. And the commentary that we are getting back is that we’re different to others, we give service, we care, we work with them in the true traditional BSP way, and the people of Cambodia are actually quite amazed this new finance company has come in and taken over and doing extremely well.

“So the decision we made was excellent. I mean this is all returned to shareholders and the money comes back to PNG,” said Sir Kostas.

BSP currently expects to open in Laos by the end of this year and already has plans for Myanmar.

“We then decided to go to Laos in January, Robin (Fleming) and I and had the introduction there. We met the central Bank, and they are most welcoming. We hope to have it up and running by the end of the year, the same people with our JV partners RMA.

“The potential there is great, there is 4 billion US tourists I believe that go in there. So it’s a growing economy like PNG. But the beauty is we have the knowledge on how to work in environments that grow. So this is the advantage where the Australian banks don’t want to go, the American banks don’t want to go.

“We’re going to places where we know how to operate.

“We expect Laos to be excellent as well, and in the fullness of time we will go to Myanmar, we see bigger advantages. Myanmar there’s 60 – 70 million people. A lot of people, all agriculture, tractors, cars so yeah, we see these areas,” he said.

Sir Kostas said they will focus on asset financing while looking at the potential to open banks and offer other services.

He said BSP is still expanding and believes it is on its way to be a major player in Asia.

“We want to make BSP the biggest in Asia, and one day we will. It’s because we supply the services and our people are competent and they know what they are doing.”

(BSP Group Board Chairman, Sir Kostas Constantinou)

Cedric Patjole