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Thailand's PTT denies joining bid for Tesco's Asian business

Bangkok-based oil and gas company PTT PCL has denied reports that its retail unit, PTT Oil and Retail Business Co. Ltd., will be joining the bid for Tesco PLC's operations in Asia, Reuters reported Jan. 8.

PTT's remark follows a Reuters report earlier in the day, which said, citing people familiar with the situation, that PTTOR will participate in the first-round bids alongside other Thai conglomerates Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Ltd. and The Central Group.

The earlier report said Tesco's Asian assets could go for up to $9 billion, with the first round of bidding due by Jan. 15.

Reuters said PTT declined to comment further.

The report came shortly after Sakon Varanyuwatana, chairman of Thailand's Office of Trade Competition Commission, told the Financial Times in an interview that the country's competition regulator will keep a close eye on the sale of Tesco's retail operations.

"We have the authority to prohibit the merger or acquisition if we believe it will lead to a monopoly," Varanyuwatana reportedly said.