BNM to pay government RM2.85bil in dividends

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia is paying RM2.85 billion in dividend to the government after posting a net profit of RM7.16 billion in 2023.

The RM2.85 billion was higher than the RM2.75 billion dividend that Bank Negara paid to the government for 2022, which saw its net profit drop to RM6.96 billion from RM12.8 billion in 2021.

The dividend payout for 2023 will still be markedly lower than the RM5 billion paid out in 2021.

Bank Negara said in its Annual Report 2023 released yesterday that total assets stood at RM631.26 billion as at December last year.

"The financial position of Bank Negara remained stable in 2023, as audited and certified by the Auditor General."

Of the RM7.16 billion net profit, RM4.31 billion has been transferred to Bank Negara's risk reserve.

Governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said its prospects are good and the central bank has reason to cautiously anticipate a better year ahead.

He said there is a favourable window of opportunity to implement crucial structural reforms.

"By taking decisive and collective actions, we can capitalise on Malaysia's robust and resilient economic rebound post-Covid and lay the path for sustained growth and prosperity.

"While there may be challenges during this transition, these reforms are investments in our future towards prosperity of our rakyat and the nation," he said in a statement.

Bank Negara also published its Economic and Monetary Review 2023 and Financial Stability Review for Second Half 2023.

The 2023 annual report said amid the slowdown in global economy and inflationary pressures domestically, Bank Negara considered and managed the complex policy trade-offs and interdependencies between inflation, growth, and preserving confidence in the ringgit.

Bank Negara's efforts to ensure financial intermediation activities support the economic reform agenda with particular focus on micro, small and medium enterprises, by improving the features of special funds and scaling up social finance initiatives.

The central bank also implemented efforts to advance value-based intermediation and promote solutions by the Islamic finance industry to meet the demand for green and sustainable finance.

Bank Negara said it is continuing efforts to enhance climate resilience and manage climate-related risks within the financial sector.

These efforts aimed to support financial institutions and the real sector transition to a greener economy, in line with national policies and strategies.

Bank Negara also continued to make progress in integrating climate-related risk into prudential regulation and supervision.

The annual report stated that combating online financial fraud remains a key focus.

It has worked closely with the financial industry and law enforcement agencies to improve fund tracing, disrupt fraudulent fund flows and raise awareness of the latest scam tactics.

Bank Negara also launched the Financial Inclusion Framework 2023-2026 which outlines strategies to close the remaining gaps in access to quality and affordable financial services for all.

Key regulatory and supervisory programmes were put in place to further strengthen the ability of the financial system to withstand shocks.

It enhanced market conduct requirements for financial institutions to reinforce their responsibilities to safeguard consumer interests, especially when dealing with vulnerable consumers.

Bank Negara is also increasing the financial sector's preparedness to face crises through recovery and resolution planning, and simulation exercises.

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