Not all SOE’s suffered losses during Covid-19 period

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At the end of the financial year, 2021 nine out of 15 Public trading Bodies earned profit during Covid-19.

This is outlined in the State Owned Enterprises audited financial statements announced by Acting Minister of Commerce Industry and Labor, Toesulusulu Cedric Schuster in Parliament yesterday.

He said the effects of Covid 19 on  Public Trading Bodies’ (PTB) performance have been well noted and the impact it has on the financial ability of the PTB in the payment of dividends has been considered. 

In the prevailing dividend policy, should the PTB incur losses as a result of many factors the Covid 19, the PTB is not entitled to any dividend payment to the Government. 

“Should a PTB earning profit; payments of dividends, therefore, are based on meeting the solvency requirements. 

In effect, PTB only pays dividends if they have the ability to do so, otherwise supporting solvency documentation should be provided to MPE to justify the inability to pay.”

The Minister says that based on SOEs audited financial statements since Covid 19 (FY2019-2020 and FY 2020-2021), not all PTBs have been affected by the global impacts of Covid 19. At the end of FY 2020, nine out of seventeen (9/17) PTB earned profit. 

Same as in the end of FY 2021 where PTB that incurred losses are not required to pay any dividend. Additionally, PTB earning profits would need to justify the inability of paying dividends where to date, MPE did not receive any such documentation. 

The Ministry of MPE advises that the policy needs to be reviewed as it has already catered for scenarios where there is poor performance or factors out of PTB control such as Covid 19.