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KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which posted a pretax loss of RM6.27 billion in 2018, expects to be profitable in 2019.

“Looking at 2019, we’re comfortable with the fact that we should be able to see profitability, given that a lot of clean-up done for 2018 has gone through the books,“ managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan (pix) told a media briefing at the Khazanah Annual Review here today.

Khazanah was in the red in 2018, compared to a pretax profit of RM2.90 billion a year earlier due to fewer divestments, reduced dividend income and higher impairments, during a period of transition for Khazanah in an unfavourable market. Impairments stood at RM7.3 billion in 2018, RM5 billion higher than 2017’s RM2.3 billion.

Khazanah last posted an annual pretax loss in 2005, whilst the last annual net loss was in 2008.

Shahril added that its performance in 2018 was impacted by several key global and domestic developments in both the economic and social spheres. At the same time, the government initiated a reset of Khazanah, which involved significant changes including a refreshed mandate.

In 2019, Khazanah will focus on executing its portfolio rebalancing strategy and strengthening its financial position.

It will also pursue two investment objectives, which are commercial and strategic.