KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Azmin Ali claims that legacy issues were why Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) announced its lowest-ever dividends, and that things can only improve in the future.
The Economic Affairs Minister said Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) did their level best to ensure depositors and shareholders received better returns.
He pointed that PNB was facing legacy issues and it was important for PNB to carry out good governance.
"It involves some RM9bil – it is not a small amount of money.
"With the current situation, PNB has done their level best to ensure depositors and shareholders will get better returns for many, many years to come," he told reporters at the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur Summit on Friday (Dec 20).
On Wednesday (Dec 18), PNB announced an income distribution of five sen plus a bonus of 0.5 sen per unit for 2019.
The lowest rate before this was last year's 6.5 sen plus 0.5 sen, while previous income distributions had been as high as 14 sen in the 1990s.
Opposition leaders have criticised the government, saying that the all-time low showed that investors and businesses were troubled by the political instability in Malaysia.
Azmin said that other factors that needed to be considered were the volatility of the global market and governance issues of the past.
"The new PNB management ... will ensure governance and accountability are the new pillars in the new team," he said.
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