Bank Negara raises dividend payout to RM3.5bil, adds RM5.4bil to risk reserve

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara has increased its dividend payout to the government by RM1bil to RM3.5bil.

This is after the central bank made a net profit of RM8.93bil in 2019, on the back of a 19.6% jump in total income.

The central bank, in its 2019 annual report released today, said it generated a total income of RM11.13bil, net of costs associated with managing the international reserves portfolio and monetary operations.

In 2018, its total income was RM9.3bil.

Day-to-day expenditure rose 22% to RM2.16bil, while net profit in 2019 climbed 18% to RM8.93bil.

Of this, RM5.4bil was transferred to the central bank's risk reserve.

"The risk reserve acts as a crucial financial buffer against unexpected losses arising from unfavourable market conditions that are not within our control," Bank Negara said.

This includes movements of interest rates in the US and other advanced economies, fluctuations in foreign exchange and global equity markets.

"The remaining RM3.5bil in net profit will be paid as dividend to the government," it said.

In 2018, the payout was RM2.5bil.

As at Dec 31, Bank Negara's assets totalled RM451.6bil, up from RM447.6bil a year ago.

International reserves portfolio constituted 94% of its assets at RM419.6bil.

"Our liabilities arise mainly from deposits by financial institutions (RM163.7bil) and currency in circulation (RM114.1bil).

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