KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysia's national car maker Proton on Wednesday denied a newspaper report saying it may sell a stake in its distribution arm to Naza Kia Sdn Bhd, the country's distributor of Kia vehicles.
"Proton wishes to state that there had been no negotiations at whatever level carried out by it, or Proton Edar with Naza Kia for the acquisition of a stake in Proton Edar," Proton said in a statement.
It said the report carried by the Sun newspaper of Naza Kia's intent on acquiring a substantial stake in Proton Edar was purely speculative.
Quoting unidentified sources, the daily also said the move could lead to both firms selling each other's products as Proton Edar Sdn Bhd was rumored to become a joint distributor with Naza Kia for the first Malaysian-assembled multi-purpose vehicle under the Kia brand.
Naza Kia is eyeing a stake of less than 50 percent, the daily said, adding that officials of the two firms will meet next month for discussions.
Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton), which makes Malaysia's best selling car under the Proton brand, has around 60 percent of the passenger car market with new vehicle sales of 434,954 units last year.