KUALA LUMPUR: An economist is amazed that Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB) is doing well despite a slowing economy.
“The fact it could give returns during the economic downturn is incredible,” Prof Hoo Kee Ping told FMT.
ASNB today announced an income distribution of 6.75 sen per unit and bonus of 0.50 sen per unit for the Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2016.
It also declared an income distribution of 5.00 sen per unit for Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN) for the financial year ended Dec 31.
Hoo said it showed that despite the weakening ringgit, which is RM4.48 to the US dollar, political instability and the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, the share market was still doing well.
It also showed that the ringgit had not crashed.
“If the ringgit had crashed, the share market would crash and ASNB would not have made any profit.”
The income for ASNB, a unit trust fund company, was not from bonds because income from bonds only came to 3.75%, he said.
“It is hard to make money from bonds because after cost, there is nothing much left.
“They played the shares well. Good timing. They did well.”
Hoo also praised ASNB for its good stock selection.
He said the only sectors in Malaysia doing well at the moment were palm oil and electronics.
He added the construction sector might pick up with the upcoming LRT 3 line connecting Bandar Utama to Klang, Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah, Sarawak and the Tun Razak Exchange in the heart of the city.
ASNB is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB). It has nine million unit holders who will receive a total income distribution of RM9.78 billion and a bonus distribution of RM500.4 million.
PNB’s chairman Abdul Wahid Omar said although PNB expected 2017 to be an uncertain year financially, there were sufficient grounds for cautious optimism.
ASNB’s net distribution and bonus in 2013 was RM7.70 (bonus 1 sen), 2014 (RM7.50, bonus 1 sen) and 2015 (RM7.25 with a bonus of 0.5 sen).