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Carrefour mulls China, Taiwan float

French retail giant Carrefour is mulling selling its stores in China and Taiwan – and could float the business in Hong Kong.

According to the sources familiar with the matter, the IPO could raise $1 billion.

The plans are at a preliminary stage, according to the source.

Carrefour has been facing tough competition in China and Taiwan, and the IPO could provide a sustainable future for the business there.

The retailer has been withdrawing from markets it doesn’t dominate, while boosting its operation in its home market.

In 2005, it sold its stores in Japan to Japanese retailer Aeon and its Thailand stores to Big C in 2010. It divested its Malaysian operations to Aeon last year.

In China, Carrefour holds a market share of 6.9 per cent, making it the fourth largest hypermarket operator. It operates 220 hypermarkets in the mainland compared to the more than 273 hypermarkets of Sun Art Retail Group, the market leader.

Euromonitor ranked Carrefour as the market leader in Taiwan, where its market share stood at 48.1 per cent last year.

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