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Report: Alibaba eyes Rocket Internet's e-commerce unit in Pakistan

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is in talks about a possible acquisition deal for Daraz, the Pakistani e-commerce unit of Rocket Internet SE, Bloomberg News reported March 19, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

The source said a price for the potential transaction was still under discussion, adding that no decisions have been made yet and deliberations were still at an early stage.

An agreement would help the Chinese e-commerce giant establish a foothold in Pakistan, which has become the world's fastest-growing retail market, Bloomberg reported, citing Euromonitor data.

An Alibaba spokesman declined to comment to Bloomberg News about the matter, while Daraz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This development comes shortly after Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group agreed to invest US$184.5 million for a 45% stake in Pakistan-based Telenor Microfinance Bank, and support mobile payment and financial services in the country.

It also follows Alibaba increasing its investment in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group to US$4 billion, in line with the company's strategy for international expansion.