PNG STOCKS OUTPERFORM INTERNATIONAL SHARES
Heavily weighted as it is with dual-listed mining and petroleum stocks, it was no surprise that the overall value of Papua New Guinea’s bourse, the Port Moresby Stock Exchange (POMSOX), fell significantly during 2014. The year 2014 was a bad one for resources stocks globally, with falling oil and mineral prices wiping considerable value off mining and gas companies across the board. PNG’S main market index, the Kina Securities Index (KSI), closed at 3,496.88 points, falling off 375 points or 9.7% during the year, while the exchange’s weighed market capitalisation fell by K5.9 billion (US$2.23 billion), to K53.3 billion (US$20.1 billion). Major stocks Bank of South Pacific (BSP) and Oil Search (OSH) fell by 11% and 8.7% respectively over the year, but one notable company to buck the trend was New Britain Palm Oil (NBO), which gained an impressive 73.3% in 2014 due to a generous takeover offer from Malaysia’s Sime Darby Plantation that was completed in late February 2015. Its ongoing listing was under review at the time of writing. Setting aside stocks that had their main listing overseas, POMSOX performed rather better than the overall bourse. Local stock broker Kina Securities’ Home Index measures the performance of stocks that are only listed on POMSOX. This index actually rose some 17% during 2014, reflecting the relatively strength of the domestic economy. The Pacific’s largest exchange also got a lot busier in 2014, with the value of trades increasing by 231% on the previous year, and the number of transactions up 4.6%.