Do not report gossip: PM O’Neill

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has described a report published by an international media as “gossip”.

O’Neill was responding to Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) which reported that Papua New Guinea's government officers were visiting international financial hubs this week hoping to raise money on the offshore bond market.

Radio New Zealand reported that the Governor of PNG's Central Bank, Loi Bakani, along with the Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Dairi Vele, are scheduled to give presentations in London tomorrow, before heading to Boston and New York.

O’Neill in response to questions raised by Loop PNG to confirm the report said Central Bank Governor Loi Bakani was part of the investment forum in Paris.

“Why report gossip,” O’Neill response to Loop PNG via mobile text.

RNZI reported earlier during the day that PNG has hired ANZ, Bank of China, JP Morgan and Société Générale to arrange meetings with potential investors in the hope of securing its debut international bond deal.

This comes as PNG's government struggles with a cash flow shortage and an economy impacted by a prolonged slump in global commodity prices.

PNG failed to raise US$1 billion on bond markets late last year.

Earlier this year its credit rating was downgraded by Moody's from B1 to B2, and it is now on stable outlook.

Freddy Mou