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Fiji Time: 4:31 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Projects continue

Ropate Valemei And Geraldine Panapasa
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

THE Fiji National Provident Fund is on a positive streak as investment and rehabilitation reform projects continue around the country.

Fund chief executive officer Aisake Taito confirmed the Natadola Bay residential development was in progress as well as other major projects.

"The fund appointed a project manager, who is now undertaking development and market feasibility for the hotel's residential lots," Mr Taito said.

He said they were also working round-the-clock on the Momi Bay project.

"The fund has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding and is now in contract negotiations with an international hotel operator." He said legal financial consultants had been engaged and a project management firm would be appointed to commence the development works.

"Construction work for this project is expected to start in mid-2013."

He said extensive reconstruction of the Grand Pacific Hotel had commenced, with the hotel expected to open towards the end of next year.

Mr Taito said projects provided technical and project management service and support worth $2.3 million during the financial year, with $440,000 that was accrued as of June 30 this year for works still in progress.

Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimoni Waqabaca said FNPF had surplus funds to complete its projects and with tourism growth picking up, the investment would boost the local economic growth.

"It would be worthwhile for FNPF to continue with the project. Indications are they will put in more to complete it.

"(The Momi Bay) project will add to room numbers we will need to boost our tourism industry. I'm sure they (FNPF) will be able to get it done," he said.

The Momi Bay Resort and development project was scheduled to be completed at a total cost of $225million with FNPF funding the initial stage with an investment of $80m.

Bridgecorp, a New Zealand-based financier, also invested $NZ106m ($F156.29m) into the project before the company went into receivership in 2009.

Attempts by the government to sell Momi Bay Resort to recoup losses to FNPF resulted in bids that fell significantly short of the estimated value and investment and led to FNPF writing off $55m.