KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) could afford the RM 18 billion dividend for the government announced in the 2021 Budget. Everything more will be discussed by the board, according to its president and Tengku group chief Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz .
“If you ask me now if the dividend of RM 18 billion announced under the 2021 Budget is something we can keep, my answer is yes. Still still within affordable possibilities,” he said.
He said if there was any additional request from the government, it would be considered and based on the liquidity and solvency perspective as Petronas is governed by the Companies Act.
He reiterated that the dividend payment to the government will be based on its affordability after proper rigorous care over its financial commitment.
“The dividend process is not a directive (from the government), but based on the request for our review. We will meet the request if we have the means to do so,” he told Bernama in an interview.
He said Petronas will review the application and determine its capital and work commitment. He also stressed that the national oil company will have to build its protector if there are further market shocks such as low oil prices.
“Once all of them are satisfied, and if they will ask us and we can still afford it, then we will agree,” said Tengku Muhammad Taufik, adding that the dividend payment of RM 10 billion for the government in November last year was after a review of the content of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RM 10 billion was in addition to RM 1 billion paid last year.
He noted that the oil price move was a good metric to assess potential dividend payments.
The price of oil currently moves above US $ 60 per barrel.
Tengku Finance Minister Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz had said that Petrona’s dividend to the government is based on its performance and taking into account its funding needs for operations, liabilities and capital expenditures. – Bernama
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