PAAB may face cash flow deficit of up to RM235mil - Audit

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) is expected to face a cash flow deficit of between RM13.25 million to RM235.21 million over 12 years from 2025 to 2037, said the Auditor-General's Report (LKAN) 2019 Series 2.

According to the report released today, a deficit will occur if the problem of mismatch of the 25-year loan repayment period to the Federal Government and the 45-year lease collection period of the state water operator is not reconciled between the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and PAAB.

"This is due to the shorter loan repayment period compared to the lease collection period which in turn creates the risk of PAAB’s ability to settle the loans owed to the Federal Government," it said.

LKAN stated that until 2020, PAAB’s subsidiary Pengurusan Aset Air SPV Bhd (PASB) had issued sukuk worth RM37.98 billion (81 per cent) out of a total of RM46.89 billion approved by the MoF.

"The refinancing of matured sukuk amounted to RM19.82 billion and the current balance amounted to RM18.16 billion (47.8 per cent).

"As of 2020, PAAB had used RM19.82 billion of the matured sukuk for refinancing the issuance of Islamic medium term notes (IMTN) amounting to RM17.89 billion; asset development (RM1.18 billion); as well as (water services) restructuring for Selangor and Kelantan (RM750 million), " it added.

Meantime, the report stated that overall, PAAB had achieved the objectives of its establishment in line with the State Water Supply Services Industry Restructuring Scheme (migration scheme) through water infrastructure development activities.

"These activities have also provided benefits that included, among others, reduction in the financial burden of the state water operator and improvement in the quality of water services.

"Lease income received from the state water operator helps the company record a profit before tax and increase the company's aggregate profit as well as contribute to PAAB's financial position at a stable level, and enable loan repayments to be made to the Federal Government," it said.

However, there was a delay in the completion of the project which resulted in it not being handed over to the state water operator according to schedule.

"There was a delay in the completion of 60.8 per cent of the asset development project based on the original schedule as well as delay in the application and approval of the extension of time," it added.

LKAN recommended that the PAAB board improve the company's key performance indicators (KPIs) for financial, customer, learning, employee satisfaction and communication perspectives as well as the environment so that the company's overall KPIs could be fully achieved.

"PAAB also needs to conduct due diligence before water assets are taken over for states that are expected to participate in the migration scheme to identify the fairness of the assets being taken over.

"The PAAB board of directors needs to draw the attention of MoF to resolve the mismatch related to the loan repayment period to avoid PAAB's cash deficit," according to the report.
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