DECEMBER 6, 2001
Petronas confirms plans to buy Sepang
IN recent years Petronas has funded most of the growth of the automobile industry in Malaysia. The national oil company now controls the national car company Proton and now Petronas is about to take over Sepang as well. The racing circuit was built by the national airports company and the sale is being seen by the opposition as a way to bail out the troubled Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.
Whatever the details, Petronas has the money to run the circuit properly and the move has to be seen as positive one for Malaysia which is also planning to increase its F1 involvement with the national lottery company Magnum being used to fund Alex Yoong's efforts with Minardi. Other Malaysian companies are expected to be involved but negotiations are still going on although the Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian Minister of Sport, has said that the Minardis will carry Malaysian branding of some sort. Minardi's Paul Stoddart is currently in Malaysia talking to the government.
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