PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Board on Monday announced a lower dividend rate of 4.5 percent for 2008 citing the worldwide economic crisis as the reason.
EPF declared a 5.8 percent dividend for 2007.
Despite the financial meltdown, EPF recorded its highest ever earnings of RM20 bil in gross income for 2008 which represented an increase of 9.36 percent over the previous year’s gross income of RM18.29 bil.
“While the year 2008 was challenging due to the unprecedented global financial crisis that had impacted economies worldwide, EPF’s investment portfolio for the year performed better at the gross income level compared to 2007.
“However due to the sharp decline in the equity markets, a large provision had to be made resulting in marked reduction in net income,” EPF chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said in a statement on Monday.
Equities remained as one of the major contributors to the EPF’s returns in 2008, representing 34.82 percent of EPF’s total gross investment income.
Samsudin said up until September last year, the EPF was doing well in equities.
However, following the effect of the global financial melt down, EPF’s performance in equity investments recorded a drop of less than 20 percent which impacted dividend payouts.
“We are bracing ourselves for a tough year ahead as the effects of the global financial crisis continues to be felt.
However, we believe that in every crisis, there is an opportunity to be seized and will continue to be vigilant and continue delivering results for the benefit of our members,” he said.
Dividends are expected to be credited to members’ accounts on March 23.