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Report: Malaysia looks to sell stakes in Petronas to provinces

Malaysia is considering selling stakes in its national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, to provinces that house its oil and gas fields, Reuters reported, citing Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The provinces of Sarawak and Sabah are seeking a fourfold increase in the royalties Petronas pays to access their fields, Reuters reported. The prime minister told Reuters that the government cannot afford the demands, which could amount to $7 billion per year.

"What we need is to reduce our involvement, the number of shares that we hold, in order to raise some funds for ourselves," he told Reuters in an interview.