15 Sep 2006

Tonga's new King to get rid of his business interests

5:54 pm on 15 September 2006

Tonga's Lord Chamberlain has announced that King Siaosi Tupou V is to dispose of all his commercial interests in Tonga.

Honourable Fielakepa in a brief statement said this conforms with the obligations and demands of his high office.

He says arrangements for the divestment of his holdings in the Shoreline Power companies are near completion.

Hon Fielakepa says sale of the rest of the new King's interests will follow

as soon as suitable shareholding arrangements can be made.

The Pacnews agency says that the Caribbean based mobile phone company, Digicel Pacific, has expressed an interest in buying Tonfon, the King's

telecommunication company.

58 year old King Siaosi also owns a television company, an airline, a brewery

and has fishing interests.

His company Shoreline has held a monopoly on Tonga's power generation and

distribution for eight years and is accused of charging high prices for


At a protest march against the monopoly in Tonga last year, democracy

advocates said the then crown prince and his Shoreline partners received salaries of more than 340 thousand US dollars a year.