Malaysia's Petronas to cut 1,000 jobs; reports fourth-quarter loss of 4.69 billion ringgit

Petronas reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.6 billion.
Petronas reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.6 billion.PHOTO: REUTERS

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - Malaysian state energy firm Petronas said Tuesday (March 1) it expects to cut about 1,000 jobs as it struggles with plunging global oil prices that have hammered the energy-dependent country.

The company, the single largest source of Malaysian government revenue and national export earnings, said the layoffs would take place over the next six months.

"Exhaustive efforts are ongoing to redeploy affected employees," the company said in a statement.

On Monday (Feb 29) Petronas reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 4.69 billion ringgit (S$1.6 billion).

The unlisted Petronas, Malaysia's only Fortune 500 company, also announced cuts in capital and operating spending of 50 billion ringgit over the next four years, starting with 15 to 20 billion in 2016.

Petronas is not the only firm to suffer from sinking prices of oil and other commodities, which have battered Malaysia's growth prospects.

Sime Darby Bhd, the world's biggest listed palm oil producer, last Wednesday (Feb 24) announced a 38 per cent plunge in second-quarter profit due to weak commodity prices and China's slowdown.

Full-year growth for Malaysia in 2015 was at five per cent, down from six per cent in 2014.

The government now expects economic growth of 4 to 4.5 per cent this year, down from an earlier projection of five per cent.