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Thailand's Central plans to invest $200 million in Singapore's Grab

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Reuters BANGKOK
By Chayut Setboonsarng
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai retailer Central Group plans to acquire a stake in Southeast Asian ride-hailing startup Grab for $200 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Reuters first reported in September that the two companies were in talks over the sale.
Central would acquire a stake in the local unit of Grab, one source said. The sources requested anonymity because the matter was private.
Central and Grab declined to comment.
If confirmed, the deal would come soon after Indonesian rival Go-Jek launched ride-hailing and food delivery operations in Thailand.
Central in 2017 launched a joint venture with China's second e-commerce platform, JD.com, which backs Go-Jek.
Ride-sharing is not fully regulated in Thailand, with police occasionally fining drivers.
In November, Thailand's fourth-largest bank Kasikornbank Pcl invested $50 million in the ride-sharer.
The market for ride-hailing services in Southeast Asia is expected to surge to almost $30 billion by 2025 from $7.7 billion in 2018, according to a Google-Temasek report.
(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng in Bangkok; Additional reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Fanny Potkin in Jakarta; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 12:08 PM IST

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