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November 14, 2009

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Tesco to open malls via venture

BRITISH retailer Tesco Plc will form a partnership with a group of Asian enterprises to open three malls in China.

Tesco said it plans to invest 100 million pounds (US$166 million) in a joint venture with HSBC Nan Fung China Real Estate Fund, Metro Holdings Ltd and Hong Kong's Nan Fung Group. Tesco will own 50 percent of the venture.

The venture's first project is to build Tesco's first shopping mall in a 500,000 square meter residential community in the northeast Fushun city. Tesco also plans to build another two shopping malls in Anshan and Qinhuangdao, the retailer said, without giving a timetable.

Analysts said the move signaled Tesco may expand rapidly in China, where other foreign retailers are battling to gain a bigger market share.

"But it may still take some time for Tesco to catch up with foreign rivals such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour," said Liu Jinhu, an analyst at Sealand Securities Co Ltd.


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