Fiji super fund to finish Momi Bay Resort

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 12:50 23/11/2012

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Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has announced Fiji's superannuation fund will spend FJ$150 million (NZ$103.9m) on finishing the Momi Bay Resort - the property deal which spelled the end of failed finance company Bridgecorp.

Bridgecorp sunk NZ$106m into the venture before hitting financial strife and Fiji's government eventually seized the resort from Bridgecorp's receivers and nationalised it in mid-2009.

Bridgecorp's receivers initially held hope that the Momi Bay development would be completed or sold, prompting it to estimate a return to investors of between 25 and 74 cents in the dollar.

However the Bainimarama government's seizure of the assets ended that possibility and Bridgecorp's investors will now be lucky to receive a total of 10 cents in the dollar.

The Fijian government had also put FJ$18m into the project alongside Bridgecorp but has spent the past three years attempting to sell the site and the half-built "ghost town" resort.

The Momi development has previously been offered for sale by the government as 305 acres of freehold land "providing for 370 full serviced residential lots of varying sizes" with "over-water luxury villas" and a partially-completed golf course.

In Bainimarama's budget speech for the up-coming 2013 year he said Stage One of the Momi Development would commence at the beginning of the second quarter of 2013 and the Fiji National Provident Fund [FNPF] would complete the development "with an estimated investment of $150 million".

"Government will assist this initiative by ensuring that the project is completed expeditiously," Bainimarama said.

However the Fiji Sun reported FNPF chief executive Aisake Taito as saying the amount to be invested in the Momi project had not been finalised yet.

The resort of residential sections, hotels, marinas and golf courses has sat half-built waiting for a buyer or a developer to resurrect it since 2009.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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