State debt report

Fiji Airways, the Fiji Sugar Corporation and the Fiji Development Bank have been listed as "high" risk entities by the Ministry of Economy in its 2020-2021 annual debt report released this week. Picture: FILE

Government holds bond debts worth $3.54 billion with the Fiji National Provident Fund and owes $924 million to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), states the 2020-2021 annual debt report released by the Ministry of Economy this week.

The State had a $5.2b domestic debt in 2020-2021, out of which $5b was held in bonds.

Out of the total $2.4b in external debt, the ADB was owed 38.5 per cent or $924m. The debt report has also classified Fiji Airways, Fiji Sugar Corporation and Fiji Development Bank as “high” risk entities.

Fiji Airways, the Fiji Sugar Corporation and the Fiji Development Bank have been listed as “high” risk entities by the Ministry of Economy in its 2020-2021 annual debt report released this week.

The report states the impact of COVID-19 pandemic pushed Fiji Airways (FA) into the “high” risk zone.

“The prolonged duration of the crisis with its associated uncertainties has continued to place FA at high risk.”

The debt report says the opening of the international borders is a “positive note” for the industry.

“This should generate some positive impact for the industry. “The aviation and travel industry together with the general administration sectors have been the hardest hit during the pandemic.

“Going forward, the reopening of borders and resumption of international travel will be crucial for the recovery of the economy.”

The debt report states the Fiji Development Bank and Housing Authority have been providing loan repayment holidays to affected customers.

“(They) are undertaking loan provisioning to account for the increased likelihood of payment defaults due to the COVID-19 crisis.”

The debt report says despite recording a profit in the fiscal year 2019/2020, the Fiji Sugar Corporation continues to rely heavily on Government for assistance. “Government support is necessary to ensure long term sustainability of the sugar industry.

“It has been classified as a high-risk entity given its serious liquidity and profitability challenges.

“FSCL noted a change in management and board which should bring about some positive developments and changes to the entity.”

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