06 December 2011

Proton hits the headlines - highest share price in 9 months!

Proton share price soared to a record high after the announcement that Khazanah is planning to ditch its share in the national car maker. The price on December 5 stood at RM4.50 instead of hovering below RM3 as it usually is. The uproar in price started upon the "Khazanah to invite bid for Proton" statement.  Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia has issued an unusual market activity (UMA) query on Proton Holdings Bhd due to sharp rise in share price. Proton subsequently announced on Bursa that it has halted trading due to the UMA query issued and will resume trading only at 11.20am, after an hour of halt.

According to Bussiness Times, there are three parties who have submitted a bid to Khazanah Nasional Bhd yesterday to seek control of national carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd, people involved in the bidding process said. Their bid range from RM6 to RM7 per share. It is believed that the bidders are Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary’s DRB-HICOM, several key shareholders linked to the Naza Group and Proton chairman himself Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh proposing management buy-out. However, at that price, the successfull bidder is actually is getting Proton on a cheap as the current book value per share for the national car maker is RM9.84. Could it also be partly Mitsubishi, whose Proton is expected to announce the manufacturing deal soon?
More after the jump.

Anyway, why only local? What can they bring to Proton? I personally think the merger should be from a foreign party experience in running an international operation. Perhaps they can trimmed down the company size, seizing only the valuable assets such as performing staff and supplier and ditched the rest in the rationalization process. By being owned by cash-rich outsider, and with less employee to pay for, perhaps, the salary of automotive engineer can finally be increased to the competitive engineering level. It is a high time to raise the image in becoming an automotive engineer that, once upon a time during the conception of automotive company in Malaysia, such a prestigious field. 

According to Bussiness Times,  a clearer picture on the takeover will likely emerge later this week.
On a different note, Proton is actively revamping its product line-up, seeking that never-ending continuous product enhancement activities. A more powerful, turbo-ed Exora BOLD and PRIME is coming in January 2012, real R3-tuned Inspira is February 2012 and finally the much-anticipated P3-21A is scheduled to kick in April 2012. Saga FLX SE has been launched a few days back, and should keep the interest level high as year 2011 closing its curtain.