KUALA LUMPUR (June 24): Permodalan Nasional Bhd's (PNB) total assets under management (AUM) rose 7% to breach the RM300 billion mark for the first time at RM301.4 billion as at May 31, 2019 from a year earlier, as the fund's number of account holders grew 5.2% to 14.1 million.
PNB group chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said today that the fund grew its AUM amid a highly-challenging investment environment. Such sentiment led to a 1.4% drop in PNB's net income at RM5.3 billion in financial year ended May 31, 2019 (FY19), she said.
"The first half of 2019 has continued to be a highly challenging environment for all investment institutions, given the global and domestic developments. Despite this, we are pleased to be able to sustain returns and growth in our AUM," Zeti said.
Looking ahead, Zeti said PNB's mid-term review of its strategic plan is progressing well on the three focus areas, namely strategic asset allocation, optimal liquidity management, besides enterprise risk management and organisational transformation.
She said PNB looks to accelerate its diversification strategy across asset classes to optimise returns and minimise risk exposure. She said PNB's diversification strategy resulted in higher fixed-income and global assets allocation of 7.4% and 4.9% as at end-May 2019 respectively, from 5.8% and 2.4% in 2017.
According to her, PNB is also developing a comprehensive outsourcing framework, which will allow the fund to explore new investment strategies and alternative investment instruments.
"Although the prevailing market environment has been reflected in the income distribution levels, PNB continues to navigate the short-term volatility with unwavering focus on the medium and longer-term fundamentals.
"Amidst uncertain times, PNB will continue to invest consistently and not allow short-term volatility to obscure the potential returns over the longer term," Zeti said.