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In response to a report earlier today that stated that DRB-Hicom was looking to divest its entire stake in Proton, the parent company has sought to deny those allegations. The industrial conglomerate stated that it remains “highly committed to hold [sic] a substantial and strategic stake” in the national carmaker, and is confident of the latter’s turnaround plan, which it is currently assisting.

However, DRB-Hicom reiterated that Proton is in the midst of undergoing a Request For Proposal (RFP) exercise in seeking a permanent partner that is a strategic, operational and cultural fit, as part of the requirements for the government’s RM1.5 billion soft loan.

This exercise is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017, and its implementation is being overseen by a task force committee formed by the government to monitor the progress of Proton’s turnaround. DRB-Hicom stated that it will make any appropriate announcements to Bursa Malaysia Securities in a timely manner, in accordance with the Bursa Malaysia’s listing requirements, as and when necessary.

Earlier, DRB-Hicom group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed Ali Rethza told Business Times that the report was “not true at all.”

The previous The Star report, along with those from other media which ran the story, stated that DRB-Hicom was expecting as many as seven bids for Proton by the middle of the month, and may even sell as much as 100% to foreign buyers.