Dividends near $2,000

Fund has had five strong years

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2000

ANCHORAGE - Despite a rocky year in the stock and bond markets, Alaska's Permanent Fund dividend check is likely to grow this year.

The state's oil-wealth savings account posted a $2.2 billion profit from its investments for the budget year that ended June 30, said Jim Kelly, spokesman for the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

It is a smaller profit than last year, but due to the accounting peculiarities of the dividend, the total October payout will increase from $1.04 billion to almost $1.2 billion, Kelly said.

Depending on the number of applicants, that could raise the dividend to about $1,950 per person, up from last year's $1,770.

Kelly cautioned that the profits figure is preliminary and could change slightly as fund managers finish accounting for the budget year.

The $28.5 billion permanent fund is invested almost entirely in stocks, bonds and commercial real estate.

Dividend checks are factored not on annual profits, but on average profits over the past five years. The permanent fund is coming off five years of strong returns, raising the five-year profit average -- and this year's dividend payout -- to $1.17 billion.

Based on 592,000 people who applied for dividends in 1999, that's more than $1,950 per person. The official announcement will be made in September.

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