BURGEONING PNG BANK SEEKS BUYOUT OF SAMOA BANK

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Bank South Pacific has acquisitions in four countries

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 6, 2011) - Bank of South Pacific (BSP) has made a conditional offer to the shareholders of The National Bank of Samoa Limited to buy out their shares.

BSP chairman Kostas Constantinou said this yesterday in a statement, adding the offer comes with conditions that will benefit shareholders.

He said the offer comes with a number of conditions attached including, a minimum acceptance level of 75percent; due diligence which will be undertaken in the coming weeks; and the approval of both regulators, the Central Bank of Samoa and the Bank of Papua New Guinea.

He said when and if these conditions are fulfilled, it is expected that the transaction will be completed towards the end of September.

"BSP’s major market is PNG. It initiated its expansion when it purchased Westpac’s Niue’s operation in 2004," Mr. Constantinou said in the statement. He said further expansion continued with the purchase of Habib Bank in Fiji in 2006 and the purchase of the National Bank of Solomon Islands, now BSP, in 2007.

BSP also acquired the former Colonial Bank and life businesses, now BSP and BSP Life, in Fiji in 2009.

The National Bank of Samoa operates six branches in Samoa and has Samoa Tala $147m (approximately K146m [US$64 million]) in total assets.

"BSP recognizes that Samoa is a vibrant and well performing economy and is keen to make this investment," Mr. Constantinou said.

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