PNB's AUM grows to RM322.6bil in 2020 amid challenging economic conditions

PETALING JAYA: Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), the country’s largest fund manager, posted a 3.4% jump in its asset under management (AUM) to RM322.6bil despite the crippling effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

In 2020, Malaysia’s economy contracted 5.6% following global restraint order and border closures.

PNB group chairman Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz said the growth in AUM for 2020 was driven by the 4% growth in units in circulation (UIC) for its 15 funds to 264 billion units, as the group welcomed more than 200,000 new account holders during the year, bringing the total number of accounts to 14.5 million.

In addition, the group diversification efforts to the overseas market have increased its resilience towards market volatility.

Zeti said during the virtual media briefing on Thursday: “The year 2020 was the most tumultuous in our history but significant payoffs were gained from the transformative strategies that were implemented since 2018.

“PNB has managed to weather the highly challenging investment climate.

“We sustained a relatively resilient financial performance, made significant progress in our portfolio diversification efforts and further improved our unit holders’ experience and value, particularly on the digital platforms.”

In total, PNB has disbursed RM11.1bil in income distribution and bonuses in FY2020 to its unitholders.

Benchmarked against the Maybank 12-month Fixed Deposit rate, Zeti said PNB’s fixed price (FP) funds, the Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB), ASB 2 and Amanah Saham Malaysia (ASM), has continued to surpass this benchmark.

“In fact, both ASB and ASM have consistently continued to generate positive returns despite the negative performance of the FBM KLCI during five of the recent seven years,” she said.

In 2020, PNB’s total international assets increased by 3.5% to account for 12% of its overall portfolio which Zeti said has generated a much larger contribution of 25.5% to its gross income last year, as compared to 11.6% in 2019.

In terms of group income composition, she said the global equities contribution has increased 18- fold between 2017 and 2020, expanding from RM200mil to RM3.7bil in FY2020.

Moving forward, PNB president & group chief executive Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn said PNB aims to gradually expand into new investments over the long term including in renewable energy and 5G technology, logistics and data centres, whilst continuing with buyouts, secondaries and possibly the domestic Consumer Discretionary sector under the private equity portfolio.

“With the organisational transformation initiatives implemented during the year, PNB is now more agile and well-equipped to realise greater potential as we enter the post-Covid-19 era.

“We will pursue our Focus 4 strategies towards growing our portfolio to do better for the benefit of Bumiputeras and all Malaysians, and for the overall prosperity of the nation,” he said.

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