KUALA LUMPUR OCT.27: The sales of gas asset in Azerbaijan by PETRONAS worth about RM10 billion has no direct and indirect effect to the need of higher dividend payment to the Federal Government.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said, the government dismissed the assumption of Member of Parliament for Port Dickson that there was a connection between the sales of such asset with the payment of dividends.
Elaborating on this assumption, Mustapa said, the sales of gas asset in Azerbaijan was part of the efforts to re-evaluate the assets and PETRONAS business portfolio that had been implemented continuously.
“The decision made was based on commercial value in the long term and the compact cost to guarantee resiliency and efficiency in the operation and business aspects.
“The steps were taken to retain the strong financial position.
With regards to this matter, it was not only the asset in Azerbaijan involved but others too that had fulfilled the potentialities and were under consideration whether to sell or to reduce the ownership of assets,” Mustapa said in Dewan Rakyat today.
Mustapa said that to the proposal made by the Head of Opposition on the sales of gas asset belonging to PETRONAS in Azerbaijan.
The proposal says: “The “Dewan” meets today to discuss the report that PETRONAS has sold the gas asset in Azerbaijan worth about RM10 billion following the government’s pressure to increase the payment of PETRONAS dividend of RM25 billion to the government for the year 2021.”
Mustapa added, the asset in Azerbaijan had been identified as one of the candidates for exit since 2019. However the process of sales will have to take time to ensure the price of the asset will give a reasonable value to PETRONAS.
The Minister stressed the approval of the dividend payment amounting RM18 billion in February 2021 was based on the performance and the market rate in year 2020 ended December 2020.
This amount he said was lower compared to the year before following the market impact that was weak and the global raw oil price was low as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
The approval of the additional dividend of RM7 billion has been made in July 2021. This is based on the affordability and projection of the oil market performance that will be better in 2021.
Mustapa emphasized, for the first ten months this year, on the average the Brent price has recorded about USD69 per barrel.
The approval for the sale of Azerbaijan asset has been made on 1st October 2021 after being approved by the Board of Directors of PETRONAS subsidiary company that is PETRONAS International Corporation Ltd. – Malaysia World News