Am. Samoa Pushes Bond Sales To Fund Charter Bank

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Financial advisors hopeful sales to be completed by year’s end

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Oct. 28, 2015) – Cody Deeter, with the financial advisors Lewis Young Robertson & Burningham, is optimistic that the Series B Bonds, which the American Samoa Government is planning to use to establish a Charter Bank will be sold before the end of the year.

According to Deeter, who responded via email to Samoa News questions about the Series B Bond sales, the governor continues to pursue funding of the charter bank.

He said, "The first thing to know is that the Governor continues to fully pursue the funding of the charter bank and has given us direction to continue to find a funding solution to fund the bank."

Deeter noted that the marketing effort continues even today "as we seek the best terms for any bond issuance," adding that "the market over the past several months for the Series B has been hampered by the challenges in Puerto Rico which is having serious financial challenges."

He continued, "American Samoa, in so many ways, is in better financial shape than Puerto Rico but, with Puerto Rico being the biggest US Territory, they taint all the other territories. With that said we are pursuing many promising funding options and ensuring that the territory gets the best possible terms."

Deeter told Samoa News that as a finance team, their overarching goal is to see the Governor’s vision of improved banking services become a reality and to do so on the most favorable financial terms possible.

"This is taking patience but I believe that patience will be rewarded as we move through the balance of the year," he explained.

BACKGROUND

In a local government statement issued earlier when the series — A & C Bonds — were sold, it was noted that the sale of Series B "will increase the availability of quality banking services to the people and businesses of American Samoa to ensure that the economy runs as efficiently as possible." It pointed out that the government has created the Office of Financial Institutions "to provide independent oversight of all banking services in the territory, including the new charter bank."

The statement indicated that the proceeds from the sale of the Series B, while mainly for the Charter Bank, would also be used to fund the following: A remaining portion of the Manu’a vessel which would be used to provide a critical economic link between Tutuila and Manu’a; to relocate airport fuel tanks; four new renewable energy development projects including projects on Tutuila and the Manu’a Islands; a critical update to the government’s core financial software to ensure fiscal stability and accuracy; and design work for a new Fono building to house the legislative branch of government.

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