Credit Corporation (Timor Leste) Limited
Timor-Leste is essentially an oil and gas economy. The oil industry generates almost all government revenue and underwrites the government expenditure programs. The country’s GDP grew by an estimated 0.6% in 2018 and is set to increase by 4% in 2019. Timor-Leste successfully held its first early election on May 2018 demonstrating its growing maturity as a democratic state. Political parties, throughout their election campaigns, emphasised the need to diversify Timor-Leste’s economy, acknowledging that economic diversification is essential to move the country away from dependency on its oil resources. In 2018, the Timor-Leste government agreed to buy Shell and ConocoPhillips’s stakes in the rich Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields as part of its plan to pipe the natural resources to its south coast for processing. Timor-Leste has pursued a vision for a pipeline and a domestic LNG industry for a number of years, arguing the plan is crucial to its national development. Timor-Leste President Fransisco Guterres has given his approval to a decree which allows the country’s petroleum fund to be used for buying out the stakes of Shell and ConocoPhillips for $350m in the Greater Sunrise project. Credit Corporation’s Timor-Leste operations continue to experience challenges given regulatory issues related to raising deposits. The Timor-Leste operations are currently being reviewed as part of the Group’s new strategic direction.
Timor-Leste Performance in FY18
The Timor-Leste business has achieved US$1.375m (K4.4m) in loans during FY18. Timor-Leste is continuing to receive a steady rate of enquiries as a result of referrals and advertising in the local market. While the Group has received regulatory approval to operate in the country, it is still awaiting approval to accept deposits. A review of this operation is part of the current strategic review process underway.