Amidst a slowing global economy and a trade war between the US and China, it was perhaps expected that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) would pay out a lower divided for the 2018 fiscal year. However, the EPF declared a dividend rate of 6.15 per cent for Simpanan Konvensional 2018 this last week, along with a 5.9 per cent dividend for Simpanan Shariah 2018.
The payouts total RM43 billion and RM4.13 billion respectively, with the EPF commenting “With a real dividend of 3.93 percent for Simpanan Konvensional and 3.68 percent for Simpanan Shariah on a rolling three-year basis respectively, the EPF has exceeded its mandate of delivering a dividend of at least 2.5 percent on a yearly basis and at least 2 percent real dividend on a rolling three-year basis,” in a statement.
However, the EPF also reported a 4.3% decline in its investment income in 2018, with EPF chief executive officer Tunku Alizakri Alias commenting that various factors including the aforementioned trade war, dipping oil prices, interest rate hikes, and the Brexit negotiations had stirred uncertainty in the markets. He also noted a period of uncertainty in the markets after Pakatan Harapan took over the federal government, unseating Barisan Nasional for the first time since the independence of Malaysia.