Swiss bank defends role in $US1.2b PNG loan

11:03 am on 2 July 2019

The Swiss bank UBS has defended its role in arranging a controversial $US1.2 billion loan with the Papua New Guinea government.

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Photo: 123RF

The bank's statement comes as the government - led by new Prime Minister James Marape - proposes a commission of inquiry into the deal.

Former prime minister Peter O'Neill took out the loan in 2014 to buy a stake in the resource company, Oil Search, which turned sour when oil prices plummeted.

Mr Marape last week tabled a 300-page Ombudsman Commission report in parliament, which suggested that Mr O'Neill may have broken the law and engaged in improper conduct.

The report also implicated Mr Marape, who was finance minister at the time.

In a statement to the newspaper, The Australian, UBS said it would welcome an inquiry, adding that there were no adverse findings against the bank.

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