Petronas CEO: Dividend payout to Malaysian govt will depend on affordability

Petronas president and group CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz speaks during a press conference after announcing the group's performance for the first half of year 2020 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre September 4, 2020. ― Bernama pic
Petronas president and group CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz speaks during a press conference after announcing the group's performance for the first half of year 2020 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre September 4, 2020. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — National oil company, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) says dividend payout to the government this year will depend on its affordability in light of the plunging oil prices and Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a toll on its financial performance.

President and group chief executive officer Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz said Petronas’ year-end results would be the guidance to set the expectation and the group would have to deliberate on the board subject to the company’s affordability.

He also stressed that there is no pressure from the government on it given the unprecedented challenges that oil and gas companies were facing.

“This industry is volatile and like other oil and gas companies, the shareholders will tend not seeing so much returns.

“The government did not compel us to pay a dividend so far...they are aware of our capex (capital expenditure) commitments, investments and our financial obligations,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after announcing the group’s first-half 2020 financial performance here today.

Tengku Muhammad Taufik said despite a volatile market condition and softer results during the period, Petronas is still cash flow positive at RM26.3 billion.

He said the group is committed to undertaking all necessary measures in its path to recovery which will evolve reshaping portfolio mix, retooling human capital equation and emphasising on focused execution with pace. — Bernama

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