PNB announces 4.25 sen income distribution for ASB unitholders, lowest in history

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 23): Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) has announced a total distribution of 4.25 sen per unit for Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) unitholders, comprising 3.5 sen distribution and a 0.75 sen bonus for the year ending Dec 31, 2020.

In addition to this, PNB said that in conjunction with ASB’s 30th anniversary, unitholders will also receive a special one-off "Ehsan" payment of 0.75 sen per unit for up to the first 30,000 units.

The income distribution for the year is lower than last year's total distribution of 5.5 sen per unit, comprising a five sen distribution and a half-a-sen bonus. 

It is also the lowest distribution in ASB’s 30-year history.

The total income distribution payout for this year will be RM7.6 billion, benefitting 10.2 million unitholders, who own 173.2 billion units in the flagship fund. This brings the total cumulative income distribution and bonus payout of the fund since its inception in 1990 to RM159.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB), PNB's wholly-owned unit trust management company, also announced an income distribution payout of 2.02 sen per unit or a total payout of RM36.6 million for its variable price fund Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN) for the year. This reflects a dividend yield of 3.18% based on the expected net asset value of the fund as at Dec 31, 2020.

PNB chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said 2020 had been one of the most difficult years confronting the world faced with a health, economic and humanitarian crisis at the same time.

Zeti said despite this, ASB continued to deliver a competitive distribution, noting that its performance remained competitive relative to other low-risk investment instruments.

At the same time, she noted that ASB’s portfolio diversification strategy continued to see progress in 2020, with increased exposure to international equities, private equities, real estate and fixed income. Its share of international assets grew to 5.9% from 3.6% in 2019.

“Amid global market volatility, this strategy has begun to yield positive results, with the proportion of gross income contribution from international public equities increasing from 6.3% in 2019 to 24.2% in 2020,” she said during an online press conference to announce the ASB income distribution.

For the first 11 months of the year, PNB's total assets under management (AUM) had grown 2.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM320.5 billion as at November 2020.

Units in circulation grew by 3.4% to 263.2 billion units across all 15 of its funds. 

For 2020, PNB recorded a total payout of RM11.2 billion, bringing its cumulative income distribution payout since its inception to RM211.4 billion.

PNB’s aggregate global exposure increased to 11.9% in 2020 from 8.1% in 2019, with greater income contribution from global investment assets. 

PNB president and group chief executive Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn said amid a tough operating environment in 2020, PNB’s financial performance remained resilient and made good progress in portfolio diversification as it strategically realigned its investments based on geography and asset classes to achieve the investment goals set.

Ahmad Zulqarnain added that PNB had continued to intensify its efforts to enrich and enhance unitholders’ experience and provide value to them through a range of new product offerings and services, such as the launch of maiden internationally-focused fund ASN Imbang 3 Global in September. ASN Imbang 3 Global is aimed at investors with a medium risk tolerance profile who wish to have larger exposure to global assets.

“PNB will continue to remain focused on the execution of its long-term strategy. The positive results which we have seen from diversification will propel PNB to continue building a resilient investment portfolio, which would enable us to generate long-term sustainable returns to our unitholders,” he said.

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