Financial

FHL hands over $6m loan report to government

The Prime Minister’s office is expected to have received the detailed investigations report into the $6 million loan that was approved by one of Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) subsidiaries. As per requirements, the international auditor is to submit the report to Prime Minister’s office since the Ministry of Itaukei Affairs is a major shareholder. FHL […]

Staff Writers

July 22, 2016 8:55 am

The Prime Minister’s office is expected to have received the detailed investigations report into the $6 million loan that was approved by one of Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) subsidiaries.

FHL Group Chairman Mr Iowane Naiveli and CEO Mr Nouzab Fareed at a press conference this afternoon. (Peni Shute/Newswire)
FHL Group Chairman Mr Iowane Naiveli and CEO Mr Nouzab Fareed at a press conference. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

As per requirements, the international auditor is to submit the report to Prime Minister’s office since the Ministry of Itaukei Affairs is a major shareholder.

FHL Group Chief Executive Officer Mr Nouzab Fareed said this earlier this morning.

FAREED: “The report will come straight from the auditors to the Prime Minister’s office. So far, we don’t have any update on that. It won’t come to the Fijian Holdings Limited.”

The Ministry had called for an investigation into the $6million loan by one of FHL subsidiaries earlier this month.

Investigations by an international auditor were completed on the 20th of July.

Mr. Fareed told Newswire that he does not know of the contents of the report or the investigations conducted into the loan.

The board of Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL) has confirmed the appointment of an independent accounting firm to conduct investigations requested by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs regarding a loan of $6million to an unnamed local business.

In a press briefing today, Fijian Holdings Group chairman Mr Iowane Naiveli confirmed that he had received the letter from the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs to conduct investigations.

NAIVELI: “I wish to advice that we have received the letter from the iTaukei Affairs Board which is the major shareholder, who owns about 70.9% of the Fijian Holdings and as a major shareholder, me as the chairman, with the board of directors we have to carry out what they have required and we have done that.”

The iTaukei Affairs Board, iTaukei Trust Fund, and the iTaukei Land Trust Board collectively own 70.9% of the FHL.

Mr Naiveli said FHL is just following the instructions from the ministry.

NAIVELI: “They have directed me to instigate an investigation on the loan of $6million by one of our subsidiaries, so we have done that. I can not do it, I have instructed one of our independent accounting firm to carry out this investigation and they have to report directly to the Permanent Secretary of iTaukei Affairs.”

Group CEO Mr Nouzab Fareed said the ministry has the authority to ask them questions and that he can not make public the clients and subsidiary.

FAREED: “Since they are the major shareholder to our board, they appoint about six directors to our board and they have all the right to ask any question, appoint directors or remove directors. Because we are a licensed or regulated business we can not divulge who the clients are, or who the loan is gone to who and what is the status, because we are covered under the Reserve Bank Regulation.”

Mr Fareed said the accounting firm had accepted the responsibility to carry on with the investigations.

FAREED: “There only six international firms operating in Fiji, one of them but at this stage we do not want to divulge their name, they have accepted the responsibility to carry on, so we have to sign the engagement later and I don’t think that they wish us to divulge their name. But I can say it is one of the big four.”

However, Mr Naiveli said the FHL is doing very well compared to the previous years.

NAIVELI: “This year we have done very well I think we have been much better in terms of profit and our subsidiary companies are doing very well, especially our construction companies.”

FHL will have to provide a report by the 20th of this month to the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs.

Meanwhile, Mr Fareed confirmed that FHL has submitted a bid for the acquisition of the Government Printer with an international partner following the Expression of Interest published by the Ministry of Public Enterprise.

He said they will partner with an international company with printing background.

Mr Fareed said they have also expressed interest in buying shares in Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) with two other international companies.

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