FNPF’s investment in airline soars

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Fiji Airways plane at Nadi International Airport. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FT FILE

Fiji Airways was a strong investment performer for the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), gaining 80 per cent in value on the fund’s initial acquisition cost of $93.1 million.

The pension fund released its 2023 annual report this week, detailing general performance of its investment portfolio of $9.5 billion.

“In just one year since its shares acquisition in the national carrier, the fund’s investment in the airline has surged to an astounding $168 million, representing a remarkable 80 per cent increase from the initial acquisition cost of $93.1 million,” the report stated.

“This monumental gain constitutes a substantial 20 per cent share of the total income generated within the equity investment portfolio.”

FNPF had bought 30.02 per cent ownership in the national airline in June last year, at the height of COVID-19 amid criticism and concerns over the lack of transparency surrounding the deal.

FNPF’s participation, through equity and loans became pivotal in propping up Fiji Airways throughout the pandemic.

“In addition to this impressive fair value gain, the Fund also continued to receive interest income on its loans to Fiji Airways.

“This amounted to $15.9m compared to $13.3m in FY22, an increase of 19.82 per cent,” FNPF said.

The fund plans to explore further opportunities with Fiji Airways.