Tuesday, May 05, 2020

PNB, falling profits, last elevator ride down

Menara PNB 118

TTDI, April 5: There's money to make even in the worst of times, and that's what Permodalan Nasional Berhad group CEO Jalil Rasheed is telling investors when he talks about picking up cheap foreign stocks in turbulent times and tripling offshore assets by 2022. Unfortunately, Malaysians will pay scant attention to corporate messages of hope and optimism.  
So while Jalil says the future may not look as bleak, the fact remains that PNB has suffered a 37 per cent drop in net profit for 2019. That' is going to stick. Remember, this is for 2019, before Covid-19 turned our lives upside down. The 37 per cent will stick a lot longer than other 'cover' headlines like PNB to expand overseas allocation to 30% or PNB records 4.5% increase in assets under management.  
It will stick even more if there are elements of politics to spice up those stories even further. And, with PNB, unfortunately, there has always been a lot of politics at play. Even when it was making good money.  
Tan Sri Zeti
A still-blogging former CEO of a public listed company says head must roll. He thinks Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the PNB chairman, should "head for the door and take her last elevator ride down from the iconic Jalan Tun Razak building" instead of waiting to be sacked. 
Read his latest posting The Prize of PHantomette (sic). 
If the former central bank governor goes or is told to go, it won't come as any surprise to the market, or to Malaysians, who have been witnessing a series of sackings of GLC leaders appointed by the PH government soon after it had come into power in May 2018.

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