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Southeast Asia's Grab in talks to buy into Uber's regional business - source

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

By and Aradhana Aravindan

(Reuters) - Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing firm, Grab, is in advanced negotiations to buy parts of Technologies Inc's business in the region, said a source with knowledge of the talks, in what would be Uber's second retreat from an Asian market.

Ride-hailing firms have raised billions of dollars to help compete in where they have been forced into losses partly due to hefty incentives to drivers and discounts to riders.

has a dominant position in several markets in the region of about 640 million people, while has also been expanding. The U.S. ride hailing firm announced a partnership with Singapore's top in December.

"is much bigger in and they understand the local market much better," said Xiaofeng Wang,

A multi-billion dollar funding of in January by <9984.T>, already one of Grab's main investors, had opened up the possibility of a consolidation with

"has to be more focused on those markets where it is doing quite well and have more advantages - like and U.S.," Wang said.

Singapore-headquartered Grab's potential agreement with would be similar to the one struck in in 2016, when bought out Uber's business and gave a stake in return, said the source, who declined to be identified as the talks are private.

As part of the deal, will get a stake in Grab, said the source, who declined to provide financial details.

and declined to comment on the story.

Though expects to lose money in Southeast Asia, the company will continue to invest aggressively in the region, said during a visit to last month.

operates private car, motorcycle, taxi and carpooling services across eight countries with more than 2.3 million drivers. It has expanded into

The company, which has an estimated valuation of about $6 billion, counts sovereign wealth fund Investment Corp, firm GGV Capital, and Vertex Ventures, a subsidiary of state investor Temasek Holdings, among its investors.

reported on Thursday that was close to finalising a deal to acquire Uber's business in certain markets in and may sign a deal this week or next, citing people familiar with the matter.

(Reporting by and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 02:02 IST