Lower LTAT dividend due to volatile local equities market

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu. -Bernamapic

KUALA LUMPUR: The lower dividend from the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) for three consecutive years since 2015 was due to the decline in dividend income received from LTAT's investment in companies and the sale of equities following the volatile domestic equity market, said Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.

He said share trading activities and dividends from investments in companies were among the biggest contributors to LTAT's income, aside from real estate investments, interest from fixed deposits and rental incomes.

“For the past three years (2015-2017), LTAT's income from investment dividends and shares trading activities was affected due to the volatility in the local share market,” he said during the minister's question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.

He was answering a question from Ahmad Amzad Mohamed (PAS-Kuala Terengganu) on the decline in LTAT's net profit and the lower dividend paid to contributors for three consecutive years.

Mohamad said LTAT's board of directors and management would continue to identify new types of profitable and viable investments and would review it from time to time to ensure that the investments were secure and would provide the best opportunities.

“I have taken some steps to restructure LTAT's administration so that it will become more efficient, and we will ensure that LTAT is in a better position by February next year for the 2018 financial year,” he added.

Replying to Ahmad Amzad's supplementary question on the government's willingness to consider the additional option of distributing cash bonuses instead of unit trust shares which has been the practice, Mohamad said the government would continue with the latter, as it provided more long term benefits for LTAT contributors.

He said the contributors would benefit from investments and profits from the unit trust shares deposited into their accounts when they retire. - Bernama

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