Carrefour says not closing any stores in Singapore, Malaysia

Carrefour said it is not closing any of its stores in Singapore and Malaysia. In a statement, the company said it is “business as usual” for every store in the two countries.

It also said it had recently opened four hypermarkets in Malaysia this year and plans another four by year end.

Earlier this week, there was speculation that the French supermarket giant was in the early stages of selling its outlets in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

Reports had said Carrefour could be offloading its Southeast Asian assets for up to US$1 billion.

In May, Carrefour’s CEO Lars Olofsson said he was open to offers for the company’s operations in markets where it isn’t in the top two spots.

Analysts cited Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore as likely candidates.

They added that the sale of assets in these countries would make sense as the company has other priorities for investment.

Under Mr Olofsson’s direction, Carrefour has focused efforts on its key European markets — France, Spain, Italy and Belgium.

France alone accounts for nearly half of the company’s annual revenues.

The fast-growing China and Brazil markets have also been priorities for the company.

Reports also said that the British supermarket chain Tesco was interested in Carrefour’s stores in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

Other firms in the running for Carrefour’s shops in Thailand and Malaysia are said to be Big C Supercenter PCL, Dairy Farm International and Japanese supermarkets.

Analysts said if a single buyer emerges for all three countries, the deal will probably be wrapped up this year.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 7 Jul 2010

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