Thai Central aims to invest up to $468 mln in Southeast Asia


BANGKOK, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Central Pattana Pcl,Thailand's largest department store operator, plans to invest upto 15 billion baht ($468 million) to open 2-3 new stores inSoutheast Asia in the next five years.

Central aims to spend about 4-5 billion baht per a store and planned to open its first foreign department store in Malaysiain 2016, said Wallaya Chirathivat, the company's seniorexecutive vice president for business development.

"We see growth opportunities to invest in Southeast Asia asit will become a single market," he said in a statement.

Central Pattana, part of unlisted retail conglomerateCentral Group, is majority owned by Thailand's Chirathivatfamily, the country's second-richest group, according to ForbesMagazine.

($1 = 32.0700 Thai baht)

(Reporting by Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Writing by KhettiyaJittapong)

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