* Petronas Q3 net profit drops 91 pct
* Revenue for quarter falls 25 pct
* To pay nearly 40 pct less dividend to govt next year
(Adds more comments of CEO from briefing and details of
By Emily Chow
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Petroliam
Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is slashing its 2016 dividend
to the government by nearly 40 percent, after its quarterly
profit fell 91 percent on weak global crude oil prices.
The state-owned oil and gas firm, which brings in nearly
half of Malaysia's oil revenue, is being forced to shrink its
contributions, compounding woes of the Southeast Asian country
that is struggling amid a depreciating currency and political
uncertainty caused by heavily indebted state investor 1Malaysia
Development Berhad (1MDB).
Petronas said on Wednesday it will pay 16 billion ringgit in
dividend to the government next year, down from 26 billion in
2015. Its net profit for July-September tumbled to 1.4 billion
ringgit ($321.10 million) from 15.1 billion in the same period a
"Our commitment on dividends is based on our performance for
this year," President and Group Chief Executive Wan Zulkiflee
Wan Ariffin told reporters at an earnings briefing. The company
cut its proposed 2015 dividend in May.
Earnings were dragged down by impairment losses on property,
plant and equipment to the tune of nearly 6 billion ringgit and
net losses on foreign exchange and derivatives of almost 4.5
billion, a company statement showed.
Revenue for the quarter fell by 25 percent to 60.1 billion
ringgit from 80.4 billion a year ago.
Prime Minister Najib Razak announced in his 2016 budget
report that dividend payout sums from Petronas would depend on
global oil prices, and estimated Malaysia's oil related revenue
at 31.7 billion ringgit in 2016 compared with 44 billion this
Global oil prices have more than halved since
mid-2014 on a supply glut and are currently hovering around
$48 per barrel. The CEO said Petronas would assume Brent crude
will trade at $48 as their projection for next year's budget.
Unlisted Petronas has reported falling net profits for four
out of the last five quarters and a loss in the remaining period
as global oil prices have slid.
"We expect our quarter four performances to be similarly
affected," said Wan Zulkiflee, adding that the outlook into the
first half of 2016 "remains uncertain".
"Global economic growth remains modest at best, compounded
by the pending supply surge in the global oil market once
sanctions on Iran are lifted."
Petronas announced last quarter that its cash from
operations wasn't able to cover its capital expenses nor
committed dividends for 2015, forcing it to draw on reserves and
accelerate cost savings.
($1 = 4.3600 ringgit)
(Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Praveen Menon and