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Highest Divident payout in 12 years

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KUALA LUMPURAma  –  nah Saham Nasional (ASN) unitholders have reason to cheer as Amanah Saham Nasional Bhd (ASNB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), has announced an income distribution of 6.30 sen per unit for the fund for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2012, the highest payout in 12 years.

The payout also jumps 25 sen per unit compared to 6.05 sen per unit income distribution last year.

In a statement, PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid told the Star: “The payment would benefit 1.23 million unitholders, who hold 1.46 billion units of ASN.”

The income distribution will involve RM92.18mil in total payout, which is 3% higher compared to last year’s RM89.5mil payout.

“This performance is beyond our expectations despite unstable market conditions influenced by the European sovereign debt crisis that resulted in an economic slowdown in developed countries,” Ahmad Sarji said.

During the period of Dec 31, 2011 to Dec 24, 2012, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index registered an increase of 9.1% from 1,530.73 points recorded on Dec 30, 2011 to 1,669.40 points on Dec 24, 2012.

During this period, the KLCI reached its lowest level at 1,504.22 points on Jan 4, 2012 and a record high of 1,675.69 points on Nov 1, 2012.

Throughout the financial period under review, ASN has recorded a gross income of RM114.58mil, 10% higher than last year’s income, with profit from the sale of shares contributing RM66.38mil or 57.9%.

This was followed by dividends from invested companies with a contribution of RM34.9mil or 30.5%, with the balance of RM13.30mil or 11.6% coming from other instruments.

“Based on our performance this year, we have the capacity to pay up to 9.90 sen per unit but the board decided to release 6.30 sen per unit with the rest being kept for next year,” Ahmad Sarji said.

On the number of new unit subscriptions for ASN, Ahmad Sarji said the total new subscriptions for this year remained flat.

“Most people have been converting their shares to Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) since 1990 and currently, ASB has the highest number of unitholders,” he noted.

As reported last year, total unitholders stood at 1.2 million who held a total of 1.5 billion ASN units.

The income distribution payment will be reinvested into additional units of ASN and will be automatically credited into unitholders’ accounts based on the net asset value of ASN as at Dec 31, 2012.

Unit holders will be able to update their ASN accounts beginning Jan 2, 2013.