National Retirement Fund to buy 15pc stake in Tonga Development Bank

Leimoni-Taufui-and-Dr-Havea. Picture: KANIVA TONGA NEWS

NUKU’ALOFA, 22 SEPTEMBER 2018 (KANIVA TONGA NEWS) – The National Retirement Benefit Fund will buy a 15% stake in the Tonga Development Bank.

The Fund will take up unsubscribed bank shares.

Dr Leimoni Taufu’i, from the National Retirement Board Fund, said that by the end of June this year, six years after it began operating, the fund had accumulated TOP$48 million (US$21 million). A total of TOP$2.2 million (US$962,000) has been paid to pensioners, retired employees, employees who relocated to overseas countries and those who quit jobs on medical grounds.

In 2017/18 the fund has generated an interest of $1.44 million (US$630,000) and it was distributed to all members.

The organisation had registered 12, 778 members by June 30 this year.

The Minister of Finance, Dr Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa, said the purchase was approved at a meeting of the Fund’s only shareholder, the Tongan Government.

The meeting also voted for the Tonga Development Bank (Amendment Bill) 2018 to be submitted to Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly.

The amendments mean the Bank is no longer subject to the Public Enterprises Act.

Responsibility for the Bank will now lie with the Ministry of Finance.

Other changes include restructuring of the capital base of the Bank, changes in administration and expansion of services.

Tu’i’onetoa said the restructuring would enable the Bank to expand its customer base and improve its services to its customers, people of Tonga and benefits to the shareholders.

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