KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s national carmaker Proton has secured 1.88 billion ringgit ($455.10 million) in banking facilities from China Construction Bank to fund expansion around the region, it said in a statement late Friday.
The loans are earmarked for Proton’s growth plans to be the number one automotive brand in Malaysia and number three in ASEAN by 2027, the company said.
“Expansion to foreign markets is critical for sales growth while obtaining financing allows the company to invest in the many projects required to turn Proton into a truly global automotive brand,” Chairman Syed Faisal Albar said in the statement.
In August, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd which owns 49.9 percent of Proton, had agreed to extend its existing partnership with the carmaker to upgrade its line-up of cars and help expand Proton’s presence in China and other international markets.
Proton said it also exchanged documents with Pakistan’s Alhaj Automobile in Beijing, where Malaysia’s prime minister is attending the Belt and Road Forum.
Proton signed a licensing and technical assistance agreement with Alhaj to build a manufacturing plant in Karachi with an initial investment of $30 million, to assemble and distribute Proton cars for the Pakistani market.
Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Michael Perry