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Saturday, September 18, 2010

ARTICLE: Proton has no merger plans

THE STAR Business: Saturday September 18, 2010


Proton has no merger plans

KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd has no plans to merge with other companies at this juncture, according to adviser Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir said the national car manufacturer was a profitable company.
It was earlier reported that Proton was working on a deal to make DRB-HICOM Bhd an equity partner, but the deal may have hit a snag as neither party has confirmed their interest.
Dr Mahathir said Proton was now at the restructuring stage.

“After we restructure and when we are more able to assess the value of our assets, maybe then we will think of some simple cooperation with other companies, if they are interested,” he told reporters after the establishment and launch of the First Sovereign Advisory (FSA) company based on Islamic values yesterday.
FSA, a financial adviser firm, is licensed by Bank Negara and the Securities Commission to advise clients on various Islamic financial products provided by its selected partners.

Asked if Proton was still open to foreign companies having a stake in it, Dr Mahathir said the car manufacturer was open to talks with everyone.

“Over the past 25 years Proton has acquired the skills and capacity to design and build cars from A to Z almost. We have something to offer in terms of our cost competitiveness in car manufacturing, compared with places like Europe and Japan, which are four times more expensive,” he noted.

On the entry of foreign car assemblers, Mahathir said the Government should reconsider if the move was really useful.
“We don’t have to comply with what is recommended by the developed countries. We need to protect ourselves. If we open up our market and they don’t open up theirs, obviously we are not going to benefit,” he said.
On FSA, chief executive officer Annuar Shuib said the firm was looking to have more strategic partners to provide more Islamic products and services to satisfy its clients’ requirements.

“We are in talks with several other companies at the moment,” he said.

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