12 Aug 2005

Fiji government tries to sell 49pc stake in bank

10:23 am on 12 August 2005

The Fiji government is to sell its 49 per cent shares in Colonial National Bank.

Fiji TV reports that this has been confirmed by the finance minister, Ratu Jone Kubuabola, who says the sale will be to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia which is already 100 per cent owner of the Colonial Bank.

He says he is not sure of the value of the shares but the sale is expected to be complete within two months.

Th Colonial National Bank was set up after the fully state-owned National Bank of Fiji collapsed under bad debts of US$157 million, most of it owed to prominent Fiji politicians, public servants and business people.

The Fiji government took over the bad debts which it is still paying.