ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Carrefour's stores up for bid
Britain's Tesco is among more than 10 bidders for Carrefour's assets in the region, which total 61 stores in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the Financial Times said.
Singapore-based retail group Dairy Farm and French retailer Casino are also in the bidding, but US titan Wal-Mart has not entered the race, according to reports.
Company executives from Carrefour Singapore and Dairy Farm were not immediately available to comment.
Japan's Aeon group also declined to comment on a report that it hoped to expand into Southeast Asia via the Carrefour auction to make up for sluggish consumer demand at home.
Aeon acquired Carrefour's Japanese operations in 2005, five years after Carrefour entered Japan.
Malaysia's deputy trade minister Mukhriz Mahathir had said in August that Carrefour was believed to be looking to divest its business in the country, where it has 19 stores.
Carrefour also has 40 stores in Thailand and two in Singapore.
The French retail giant on Tuesday said it made a net profit of 82 million euros (104 million dollars) in the first half, after a loss in the same period of 2009.
At the results announcement, Carrefour chief executive Lars Olofsson refused to comment on the group's plans in Asia amid speculation that he wants to raise money to fund an ambitious revamp of hypermarkets in Europe.
Tesco, the world's third-biggest retailer behind Wal-Mart and Carrefour, has also declined to comment on the Asian auction. The British group has been steadily expanding in the region, notably through smaller "express" stores.
Carrefour's website said international markets account for 57 percent of the group's total sales and that future growth will likely come from China, Indonesia, Brazil, Poland and Turkey.
Carrefour has no intention of abandoning China, which accounts for 70 percent of the group's stores in Asia. It also plans to remain in Indonesia and Taiwan, a report said.
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