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KUALA LUMPUR: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) distributed its highest ever dividend payout of RM15 billion since its establishment in 1981 for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18).

This was possible as PNB's total consolidated net income and unit trust funds remained stable at RM17 billion, which then enabled the RM15 billion payout in income distribution and bonus for all funds, said chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

The group's assets under management (AUM) grew 6.9 per cent to RM298.5 billion also within the same period with the growth mainly driven by a 7.9 per cent growth in PNB's units in circulation.

PNB announced an income distribution of six sen per unit for Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 (ASB2) and 5.50 sen per unit for Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM). PNB also announced an income distribution of 4.10 sen for ASN Equity 3 (formerly known as ASG-Kesihatan), 4.20 sen for ASN Imbang 2 (formerly known as ASG-Pendidikan) and five sen for ASN Sara 1 (formerly known as ASG-Persaraan).

PNB's total income distribution for the five funds was RM236.1 million for 2018, benefitting more than 220,100 account holders.

"The challenging economic environment in 2018 with moderating growth and uncertain financial markets in both the global and domestic economic and financial environment has affected the performance of Malaysia's corporation including PNB," said Zeti at PNB's FY18 results announcement.

"Undeniably, the economic environment is expected to remain uncertain in 2019. While PNB will remain focused on creating value for unit holders, investors also need to understand the risks in the financial market place."

Zeti also shared that PNB would roll out new digital offerings for unit holders along with continuous financial literacy in order to simplify investment decisions for them.

There will also be a temporary suspension of transactions for ASB 2, ASM, ASN Equity 3, ASN Imbang 2 and ASN Sara 1 at all branches from 26th to 31st March 2019 to facilitate the computation of income distribution for the financial year ending 31 March 2019, which will be credited into unit holders' account on 1st April 2019.

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