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Hyundai invests in Grab to gain 'foothold' in Southeast Asia ride-hailing market

Reuters  |  SEOUL 

(Reuters) - South Korea's Co said on Thursday it had invested in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab, as it seeks to expand into the region to reduce its on following a damaging diplomatic row between and

Hyundai's first direct investment in a ride-hailing firm gives it a "foothold" in the world's third-biggest ride-hailing market after and the United States, it said.

Singapore-based Grab, the biggest operator in the region's third-party taxi hailing and private-vehicle hailing sector, has expanded to eight Southeast Asian countries.

"The deal should help raise the exposure of in the region, while responding to the future mobility market," said Lee Sang-hyun, an at

Hyundai's interest in Southeast has grown since South Korean companies were targeted last year in a Chinese backlash over Seoul's decision to deploy a U.S. missile defence system against Beijing's objections.

The region of about 500 million people is dominated by Japanese carmakers, while has focused on and the


is also looking to up with its peers in future mobility, the personal innovations from ride-sharing to self-driving cars that are expected to reshape the auto industry.

While it does offer in the and Europe, until now it has watched from the sidelines as competitors like GM and Toyota have allied with ride-sharing partners.

and said they would jointly develop services in Southeast Asia, including one utilising Hyundai's eco-friendly models such as the IONIQ Electric. They did not disclose the value of Hyundai's investment.

last week announced for the first time a with Silicon Valley start-up Aurora, a shift from its usual preference for developing technology itself.

The tie-up is part of Grab's latest financing round that raised $2.5 billion and included Chinese peer Didi Chuxing, Japan's and Toyota Tsusho, a spokeswoman said.

said on Wednesday it is considering building a in Southeast Asia, possibly in or

(Reporting by and Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by in SINGAPORE; Editing by Stephen Coates)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 12:43 IST