Opinion: Tesco should double down in Asia, not cash out

Tesco Lotus Thailand

Incoming Tesco boss Ken Murphy must have been hoping for a relaxed Christmas this year before taking on his new role next spring.

Age-old seasonal dilemmas over which wine to drink at Christmas dinner, what football match to watch on Boxing Day, or whether or not to tell your aunt that you didn’t want another Lynx Africa gift set have suddenly been usurped by a much bigger conundrum – should Tesco sell its Asian business?

CEO-designate Murphy will surely have a say in answering that question, alongside outgoing chief executive Dave Lewis, as Tesco reviews the future of its Thai and Malaysian operations following a shock approach from a mystery suitor.

The sums involved in any potential transaction would be huge – Tesco’s Thai business is valued at around $7bn (£5.3bn), while its Malaysian division could fetch $2bn (£1.5bn).

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading

Retail-Week.com provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • 3 free articles a month on Retail-Week.com
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.