Economics Local

Economists impressed with ASB dividend

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KUALA LUMPUR – December 22, 2017: Two economists spoken to today agree that the government-owned Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) is in good hands after it declared today a total payout of 8.25 sen in dividend and bonuses for the Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB).

To independent macro-economic analyst Professor Hoo Ke Ping, those in charge of PNB as smarter than the banks.

“The rates PNB has announced are double that of the banks’ fixed deposit rate. The fact that PNB can declare such rates against this year’s rather challenging economic backdrop shows that they really know how and where to invest.

“It also shows that Barisan Nasional has learned how to select the right people for the right job… unlike what happened to Felda,” said Hoo.

PNB group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar announced an ASB dividend of seven sen, bonus of 0.25 sen and a special bonus of one sen for up to 10,000 units.

Hoo, however, thinks it will probably be quite difficult for PNB to give the same dividend and bonus next year as he expects more challenging economic conditions in the coming months.

Professor Zulkifli Senteri of Binary University also commended PNB for its performance.

“I believe the increase in ASB’s dividend is a good thing and is probably due to the outstanding performance of companies linked to PNB and PNB itself.”

However, he also said that the increase in ASB’s dividend may not be an accurate reflection of the country’s economy. 

“On paper, the economy might be booming but does it benefit everyone or only the select few?” he asked.

“The government should look into this and improve the income distribution for a better Malaysia,” he suggested. 

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Zaidi Azmi and Ahirul Ahirudin