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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Sunday, February 18, 2018

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Energy contractors´ financing concerns in spotlight

Minister YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin

Share on Facebook August 17, 2012, Reporter : Brunei Times, Reader : 406

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OIL and gas contractors and companies have voiced strong concerns over difficulties in securing financing, claiming that some financial institutions in the country are "stingy" and "unprofessional".

During an engagement session between banks and the Energy Department at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday, the energy minister, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Kolonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohd Yasmin, reiterated the concerns of energy companies and contractors that were brought to his attention from previous meetings.

During the dialogue session yesterday, YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said: "I hope some of what were said are not true, but are just loose cannon balls that were said out of frustration," while stressing that he was only repeating views that have been relayed to him.

The top statement, said the minister, was that financial institutions in the country are stingy and that it is difficult for oil and gas contractors to secure loans.

"Secondly, local bankers are friendly but only to some segments of the players within the industry and definitely not to some of them.

"Besides that, the people handling loans are very unprofessional, where some loans were approved over a cup of coffee at coffee shops, and that bankers are aloof and do not have complete understanding of what is happening in the field, their predicaments, dilemmas and cries for help," said the minister.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin pointed out that there may be some merit to some of the statements.

"There are facts supporting this accusation. According to the Ease of Doing Business Index issued by the World Bank on Brunei, we are ranked very low at 126 on ease of getting credit from the banks. As for accusations of corruption, this is an interesting issue and may even be true," he said. more...

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