Kostas and Marape ink Loloata deal
At expense of 600,000 Nasfund members
By: Andrew Arthur
Nasund (National Superannuation Fund Limited) which has 600,000 public contributing members around Papua New Guinea are footing the bills for James Marape and his Pangu Pati members when they use Loloata Island Resort.
Last year during the Vote of No Confidence, Pangu Pati and its coalition partners camped out in Loloata for over 3 weeks. The bills for accommodation and meals are approximately K5 million. Pangu Pati did not pay for their bills in a deal struck by Marape and proxy owner Kosta Constantinou.
Loloata Island Resort was bought by Lamana Development Limited (in 2017) owned 99% by Kosta Constantinou. Lamana then sold 50% of Loloata to Nasfund for around K40m and 15% to Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF). SINPF bought the 15% for K12m in May 2018. https://www.sinpf.org.sb/.../101-sinpf-board-acquires-15...
Loloata described itself as a “uniquely designed luxury boutique resort that truly engages with its natural landscape. No expense has been spared at this exclusive tropical hideaway. Where guests are our absolute priority and we strive to deliver an inspired, memorable experience and seamless service whether you are staying for business or pleasure.”
This weekend, we see another round of Pangu members being wined and dined by Marape who conveniently is using Nasfund contributor’s money for his political mileage. The actions by Marape was greatly encouraged by Kosta Constantinou as his Lamana Development Company is another shareholder as well.
The deal cut between Kosta to win political favours with Marape comes at the expense of Nasfund and SI Super Fund who each month tip cash into Loloata Resort to cover its huge loses. Kostas meanwhile makes big profits out of the constructing the new resort paid for by the Superfunds and is not contributing cash to the failing resort venture. And just to make sure his too cosy deal stays together, Nasfund Investment Manager is BSP Capital of which Kostas is also the Chairman.
Kosta’s Constantinou is the Chairman of Bank South Pacific (BSP) and has expanded his Lamana Development Company throughout the Pacific during his tenure as BSP Chairman. (We will pay some closer attention to Kosta’s in the next few days such as below). https://www.thenational.com.pg/banks-clash-over-process/
What superannuation fund (Nasfund) with over K5 billion in funds under management owned by 600,000 members, thinks it is appropriate to be co-opted into co-investing with a private company (Lamana Development) wholly owned by the Chairman of BSP, the investment manager of Nasfund. Conflict of Interest is just a token gesture under BPNG regulation it seems. When members funds are lost (and they already are as Loloata is bleeding with losses) will Kostas take the responsibility or run to his mansion in Brisbane?
Marape and Pangu Pati are preying on unsuspecting Papua New Guineans and using their contributions for their political gain. If you have questions on how Marape and his convenience party in Pangu are able to afford the high lifestyle that Loloata has to offer, you questions have now been answered.
Why has Nasfund management been quiet on this? Nasfund management are under threat by Marape and his political cronies. Chief Ian Tarutia has a warrant of arrest against his name and it’s only waiting to be executed. There are no actual criminal charges, the warrant of arrest is based only on allegations, but these warrants are enough to silence Tarutia.
It is about time that contributors to Nasfund and SINPF look closely at their investment to safeguard it against political wolves. Surely Nasfund members can demand that Nasfund and Lamama Development published their audit and financial statements!