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Jul 06
Tuesday

Asian Resources Sold By CARREFOUR

Filed under Asia News, Southeast Asia, Business & Politics

French supermarket giant Carrefour SA is at the early stages of selling its shops in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

“It’s still in the early stages, but it’s clear they want to sell the south east Asia assets. If it goes through it could generate up to $1 billion,” the person said.

Carrefour declined to comment.

Chief Executive Officer Lars Olofsson in May said he was open to offers for the company’s operations in markets where it isn’t in the top two. Analysts have cited Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore as likely candidates.

“The sale of assets in these countries would make sense as the company has other areas that are priorities for investment,” one analyst said. Under Olofsson’s direction, Carrefour has focused efforts on its key European markets–France, Spain, Italy and Belgium, where weak consumption is hurting business. France alone accounts for nearly half of the company’s annual revenues.

Abroad, fast-growing China and Brazil are priorities for the company.

Olofsson in recent months has restructured Carrefour’s operations in a number of countries, reducing operations in Italy and exiting Russia altogether. The company Friday signed a deal with Belgian unions over plans to shut a number of stores in the country, ending four months of negotiations.

The company has lost market share to local operators Delhaize Group and Colruyt, and unions have staged intermittent strikes since February. Friday’s agreement in Belgium fueled optimism the company will profitability there. Its shares closed up 2.9% on Monday.

At the end of 2009, Carrefour had 19 large hypermarket stores in Malaysia, two in Singapore and 39 hypermarkets and one convenience store in Thailand.


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