New Caledonia Nickel Company Asked To Appear Before Congress

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

SMSP Head alleges politicians know little about industry

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 6, 2016) – A New Caledonian party has invited the head of the SMSP nickel company Andre Dang to discuss in Congress the company's financial situation.

The anti-independence Republicans issued the invitation in a statement after Mr Dang said he regretted that some politicians had so little knowledge about SMSP and therefore kept telling lies.

SMSP is owned by the mainly Kanak northern province whose leadership is pro-independence.

Last week, the Republicans refused to approve the 2016 budget which granted SMSP tax concessions worth 26 million US dollars.

They warned that they might test the budget provision in court because it was legally flawed.

The party says Mr Dang should explain SMSP's situation to the Congress once an audit of the company has been done.

In an interview with the local daily on Tuesday, Mr Dang said the criticism was political because with SMSP, the Kanaks have succeeded in setting up nickel plants with him as an ethnic Vietnamese at the helm.

[PIR editor’s note: On Jan. 6, 2016 RNZI reported that ‘Nickel producers in New Caledonia have suffered setbacks amid this week's massive stock market decline in China. … New Caledonian media have collated figures, showing that the key stake holders lost up to 5.3 percent of their share value. … The companies, Eramet, Glencore and Vale, have huge investments in nickel plants but all operated at a loss last year estimated to total about one billion US dollars. … The price of nickel on the London market however has seen a modest rise after last year's huge slump.’]

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