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FSC loan guarantee passed


Jul 29, 2022 10:03:48 AM

The Parliament of Fiji has approved that the Government guarantees the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) Limited's domestic borrowings from 1st August 2022 to 31st May 2028 for a guarantee limit of $75 million.
This follows a lengthy exchange between the government and the opposition MP.
The Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, had moved the motion saying FSC has been facing financial issues due to uncontrollable factors ranging from a spate of natural disasters, inconsistent world sugar prices, milling inefficiencies, non-renewal of leases and a decline in cane production.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the government is expecting two million tonnes of cane production and 200,000 tonnes of sugar production in the next financial year.
He added that additional funding support through the Government guarantee will support FSC in the restructuring and financial turnaround.
"The company is involved in the milling of sugar cane, manufacture and sale of sugar and molasses produced FSC has been experiencing financial issues attributed mainly to various uncontrollable, factors ranging from a spate of natural disasters inconsistent with sugar price milling inefficiencies resulting from the failed mill upgrade project in 2005. The non-renewal of leases declining cane production and deteriorating cane quality FSC expects a turnaround for 2022."
"So if we expect a turnaround for the 2023 financial year, which is a 2022 season with anticipated cane production of 2 million tonnes and sugar making of around 200,000 hits during the $39 million in total revenue is expected from sugar proceeds and molasses and the projected financial year."
"This projected earnings before interest, tax and depreciation and amortization for the 2023 financial year will be positive $23.03 billion. The government guarantees the financial liability of any entity in respect of a loan or otherwise, only the giving of guarantees approved by parliament. The Fijian government has been guaranteeing Ephesus domestic and offshore borrowings, the past number of years the latest domestic guarantee cover was approved."
"FSC requires additional funding support will guarantee cover of $75 million for new borrowings and these are intended to be borrowed and have already been approved by the Bank of the South Pacific or BSP for $50 million. Another new borrowing of $25 million, which is yet to be confirmed, the guarantee will be utilized to secure new borrowings to retire some of the expensive loans and support FSC's critical capital investments towards enhancement of operational performance regarding the financial implications is at 31 May 2022."
After a thorough debate and discussion, the Parliament also approved that FSC is exempted from paying the guarantee fee.
By Romeka Romena  

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