PNG GETS DIVIDENDS FROM SHARES IN SHIPPING LINE

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By Nikints Tiptip

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 4) - As a major shareholder in Pacific Forum Line, Papua New Guinea received over K400,000 (US$127,200) as dividends for 2003.

Pacific Forum Line is one of the major shipping companies in the Pacific region.

In PNG, it services the ports of Lae and Port Moresby on a regular basis.

The company was established in 1977 with initial financial contribution from South Pacific Forum member countries to enhance regional development and trade.

A company profile report said 16 Pacific Island countries are members, of which 12 are shareholders in the company.

The total shares issued for the company stands at 20,909,582 with PNG holding 6,047,524 which constitutes 29 percent, making it the largest shareholder in the line.

Pacific Forum Line operates vessels on a time charter or on lease from other ship owners, as well as provides shipping services on a joint arrangement basis (code-sharing) with other shipping lines using space on vessels owned by these lines, said the report.

Pacific Forum Line has also invested US$1 million in each vessel and is paid interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum.

January 5, 2005

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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