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 14 Jan 2009

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Malaysia's Proton denies being in talks to sell stake

Malaysia's national car maker Proton Holdings is not in talks with any foreign car company to sell a controlling stake in the company, Reuters quoted a top Proton official as saying Tuesday.

"We continue to discuss with potential collaboration partners, the outcome of which as of today is too early to say. But the focus is always about technology collaboration and product collaboration," Proton Managing Director Syed Zainal Abidin told reporters at a business forum.

The Business Times newspaper reported on Monday, citing Proton Chairman Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, that state-controlled Proton has been approached by car makers from the U.S., Japan and India and it may sell a controlling stake to a foreign company.  Syed Zainal said Nadzmi was misquoted.

"We speak to many partners. As a car company today in a global industry we speak (to) people in Japan, in Europe, in America but that is discussion on products and on the ways on how we can collaborate," Syed Zainal said.

"I think it is too early to say that we have made any decision. I think our chairman was misquoted," he said.

State-owned Proton has seen its domestic market share fell to below 30 percent from more than 60 percent in the 1990s. In 2007, it held talks with Germany's Volkswagen and US auto giant General Motors on a possible partnership, although those talks collapsed.

































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