Published on 11 May 2023.
RAM Ratings does not expect the internal restructuring of Proton Holdings Berhad (Proton Holdings) within Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (ZGH) to affect the ratings of the debt facilities issued by PONSB Capital Berhad. PONSB Capital is a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) of Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (PROTON), which is in turn, a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton Holdings.
On 28 April 2023, ZGH via its wholly owned subsidiary – Geely International Hong Kong Limited transferred its entire 49.9% stake in Proton Holdings to Linkstate Overseas Limited, a 100% owned subsidiary of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (Geely Auto). Subsequent to the restructuring exercise, we expect the relationship between the two entities to remain close and that Proton Holdings will continue to receive operational and financial support from ZGH.
Table 1: PONSB’s issue ratings
*The aggregate outstanding IMTN and ICP cannot exceed RM4.0 bil at any time.
Figure 1: Corporate structure
Source: ZGH and Proton Holdings
Geely Auto is the main operating entity of ZGH, engaged in the manufacture and sales of passenger cars, largely in China where it is a leading domestic brand. With the internal restructuring, all Geely Auto brands, including Geely, Lynk & Co, Geometry, Zeekr and Proton, will be held under the same corporate umbrella. This will allow Proton Holdings to potentially capture greater operational synergies within Geely Auto in product development, technology and manufacturing. We expect Proton Holdings to enhance its strategic collaboration opportunities with Geely Auto and increase its access to vehicle models and technologies, including new-energy vehicles. Geely Auto has a healthy financial profile, with a net cash position. In FY Dec 2022, its gearing and funds from operations debt coverage stood at around 0.25 times and 0.60 times, respectively.
Wong Ee Loo
(603) 3385 2521
Thong Mun Wai
(603) 3385 2522
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