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Simple Facts on the UBS Loan Arrangement

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by DAVID LEPI

Whilst the recent Oil Search share offloading by the government is attracting a vast array of discussions that are now gaining momentum by the day and the Prime Minister said to make public the facts surrounding the share sales perhaps it might be good we go back where all things started and take a look at the chronology of events.

IPIC Loan

It started in 2009 from what is known as the largest investment decision ever made by any PNG government. The Somare led government was investing in the 11 billion Exon-Mobil led LNG project in taking up equity of 16.8 percent by borrowing 1.68 billion Australian dollars from a little-known fund called International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) in the Middle Eastern oil state of Abu Dhabi. This took place at a time when the economy was feeling the global credit crunch and a dramatic drop in commodities prices that had made finding funds for new resource projects very uncertain. Arthur Somare, the then state enterprise minister,…