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Tesco stores in Hungary and Thailand unaffected by unrest

Tesco Plc, the UK's biggest retailer, said its stores in Thailand and Hungary haven't been affected by political unrest in the countries. The retailer has 87 stores in Hungary, where protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány clashed with riot police for a second night. Tesco also has 220 outlets in Thailand, where the country's military staged a coup yesterday to seize power from Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Greg Sage, a spokesman for the Cheshunt, England-based company, said its stores in Budapest were on the edge of the city, away from the protests. He also noted the Thai coup had so far been peaceful. “It's business as usual,” said Sage. “We're obviously monitoring the situation and would respond accordingly to ensure the safety of staff and customers.” He also said today's deadline for signing an accord to halt hypermarket openings in Thailand would probably be delayed given the political background and because the day has been declared a public holiday. Deputy Commerce Minister Preecha Laohapongchana told reporters last week that all hypermarket operators must sign the agreement to halt openings in the suburbs of Bangkok and other provinces amid complaints by smaller retailers. (Bloomberg)