Carrefour denies report it could exit China, Argentina, Poland

PARIS, Dec 21 (Reuters) - French retailer Carrefour on Thursday denied a media report it had mandated three banks to sell its businesses in China, Argentina and Poland as part of its turnaround plan.

“These informations are false and we are denying them,” a group spokesman said, when asked about a report by French monthly magazine Capital.

Chief Executive Alexandre Bompard took the helm at Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer behind Wal-Mart , in July and on Jan. 23 he will unveil his turnaround plan for the company, which issued a profit warning in August.

A partnership between French rival retailer Auchan and internet giant Alibaba risks pushing Carrefour further behind in China and could persuade its new boss to sell out of the country, where it is still loss-making, analysts have said.

Investors also want Bompard to improve the group’s business in its core French market, where it is losing market share to unlisted rival Leclerc, and to speed up its expansion into E-commerce where it faces competition from Amazon.

The latest figures from research firm Kantar, for the period from Oct. 30-Nov. 26, showed Carrefour still losing market share in France, while Leclerc’s market share went up.

Carrefour shares initially fell at the start of trading before recovering to stand 0.8 percent higher at 17.40 euros by 0914 GMT, although the stock remains down by around 24 percent since the start of 2017. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)