The Jakarta Post
State-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina will pay US$601.3 million in dividends to the government, 7 percent more than last year, as the state looks to fund its COVID-19 expenditures.
The dividends amounted to 24 percent of Pertamina’s net profit of $2.53 billion last year, the company announced in a statement on Thursday after an annual shareholders’ meeting.
“We are fortunate that Pertamina made several achievements and maintained a stable net profit,” said Pertamina spokeswoman Fajriyah Usman on Thursday.
The company attributed the lack of profit growth to low crude oil prices and a weak rupiah exchange rate against the United States dollar last year compared to the previous year.
Indonesia Crude Prices (ICP) fell 7.5 percent year-on-year (yoy) to $62.37 per barrel in 2019, Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry data shows.
The rupiah exchange rate, meanwhile, strengthened by 3.58 percent on a point-to-point basis in 2019 or by 0.76 percent on average, according to Bank Indonesia (BI) data.
The government has been struggling to fund its state budget as it swells to Rp 695.2 trillion to accommodate COVID-19-related spending. Tax collection has dropped amid weakening business activity, and the government is now projecting that the 2020 state budget deficit will widen to 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from the 5 percent stated in the revised budget.