PNB optimistic about performance this year

PNB group chairman Raja Tan Sri Arshad Raja Tun Uda.

PETALING JAYA: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is optimistic about the future with a renewed sense of strength and energy within the team as the group closes 2023.

In its Integrated Annual Report 2023, group chairman Raja Tan Sri Arshad Raja Tun Uda said PNB has been ready to face upcoming challenges, mainly driven by its strategic plan for 2024 to 2026 known as LEAP 6.

The new strategy is said to be both ambitious but achievable, crafted to ensure that it remains a progressive organisation while delivering better customer experience, resilient returns, operational efficiencies, innovation, a culture of knowledge and learning.

On projections for this year, Raja Arshad said PNB is optimistic, as the Malaysian economy is expected to grow between 4.5% and 5%.

“Driving it will be strong domestic demand, additional support from the recovery of our exports and the various programmes under the Madani Economy framework, as well as a hopeful outlook for the ringgit,” he said.

President and group chief executive Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn said the group will look to 2024 with a mix of caution and optimism.

He said despite a global landscape that has continued to evolve, marked by rapid changes and unforeseen challenges, PNB’s commitment will remain the same.

“As we step into the future, I am invigorated by the potential to transform challenges into stepping stones for growth.

“We will continue to seek out and seize new investment opportunities that promise sustainable returns for our unitholders all while ensuring the utmost safety of their investments,” he noted.

Meanwhile, in its report, PNB said even with challenging market conditions last year, returns were commendable.

Raja Arshad said this was due to its strategic asset allocation and diversification efforts across various asset classes.

“We enhanced our portfolio stability by increasing investments in fixed income, real estate, private markets and foreign assets.

“These moves not only cushioned us against volatility but also ensured that we continued to generate positive returns for our unitholders,” he said.

For financial year 2023 (FY23), PNB recorded an increase of 13% and 25% in its gross income and net income, respectively, to RM16.4bil in FY23 from RM14.5bil in FY22, and to RM13bil in FY23 from RM10.4bil in FY22.

It paid out a total of RM13.3bil in income distribution and bonus to its unitholders for FY2023, higher than the RM12.2bil disbursed in the previous year.

The group also reported that the cumulative income distribution paid out since its inception in 1978 amounted to RM249.2bil as of FY23 compared with RM235.8bil in FY22.

PNB’s strong returns were across a product portfolio of 17 funds, particularly via its fixed and variable price funds.

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