Tesco may well have looked at Saudi Arabia or Dubai as possible entry vehicles into the Middle Eastern retail market, but there are far more attractive opportunities elsewhere, say analysts responding to reports that Tesco is setting up shop in the Gulf. These countries might appeal to a wholesaler like Metro, but Asia and central Europe are more logical moves for a hypermarket operator, said one analyst. A company spokesman said Tesco was concentrating on developing its activities in central Europe and Asia, with news of a Malaysian joint venture likely to be announced on April 10. He declined to comment on whether Tesco had sent out researchers to the Middle East to explore the retail opportunities. Meanwhile Sainsbury is still looking for a way out of the market after its Egyptian venture became embroiled in the Arab Israeli conflict and losses edged up to £10m after just a year. {{NEWS }}

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