Market value of PNB’s investee companies increases by RM31b

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN

Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s (PNB) investee companies has added RM31 billion in market value on the back of stronger economy, currency and commodity prices.

PNB’s companies like Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Sime Darby Bhd, UMW Holdings Bhd, Chemical Co of Malaysia Bhd (CCM), SP Setia Bhd and MNRB Holdings Bhd had registered a 34% average pick-up in share prices up to June 21 this year.

Malaysia’s largest bank by assets, Maybank, became the first listed firm to cross the RM100 billion market capitalisation mark on the local bourse.

PNB Group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, who was pleased with the performance of the companies, said PNB’s Strive-15 Strategic Plan 2017-2022 had partly contributed to the better performance.

“This reflects the strong positive reaction and support from the market of our strategic initiatives to enhance the value of these companies through pure plays,” Abdul Wahid said at PNB’s first-half of 2017 (1H17) performance in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Other PNB’s core companies are Axiata Group Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Digi.Com Bhd.

All these firms share valuations recovered from their 2016 lows as confidence returned to the equity market.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI, which tracks the country’s heavyweights, is already up 8.27% this year. The index hit a 52-week low of 1,611.88 points before hitting a high of 1,796.75.

At the end of 2016, the market capitalisation of the country’s listed companies was US$359.7 billion (RM1.54 trillion).

Abdul Wahid said PNB’s strong performance was also reflective of the better economy and equity market.

“With the economy expected to register a higher growth supported by stronger exports and firmer currency, we hope to continue to sustain this respectable performance growth for the rest of the year,” Abdul Wahid said.

The state-owned assets manager also reported its assets under management grew 4.1% year-on-year (YoY), while pro forma consolidated income expanded by 18.2% YoY to RM6.7 billion for the five-month period ended May 31, 2017.

On the demerger plans at Sime Darby and UMW Holdings, Abdul Wahid said they are progressing well, with the division expected to expand PNB’s strategic companies from six to nine upon the completion of the exercises.

Both activities are largely regarded as positive due to the potential value creation from the demerger.

PNB group CEO and president Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the fund will not prioritise venturing into new investments, following the demerger at Sime Darby and UMW Holdings.

“Our first focus is to enhance the value of our strategic companies, followed by our core companies. Only after that will we start to think of effectively increasing the number of companies (in our portfolio),” Abdul Rahman said.

PNB also declared an income distribution of six sen per unit for Amanah Saham Didik (ASD), with a total payout of RM332.7 million. It will benefit about 300,000 account holders who hold 5.54 billion units.

As at May 31, 2017, ASD posted a net income of RM275 million derived mainly via capital gains of RM201.85 million with a dividend payment of RM108.88 million.

Meanwhile, an income distribution of 3.1 sen per unit has been announced for its variable price fund, Amanah Saham Nasional 2 (ASN2), with a payout of RM45.8 million to benefit over 24,000 account holders who hold more than 1.48 billion units. ASN2 doubled net income to RM49 million, benefitting from the rising market and strong stock selection.