In preparation for the start of its major expansion plans, the Thai subsidiary of Carrefour , the French owned hypermarket group currently ranking second worldwide, has applied to the commercial registration department in Thailand for permission to become a foreign-owned company. Under Thai law, companies in the country are required to maintain a Thai-owned majority stake. When it entered the Thai market, therefore, Carrefour was forced to secure local investment of 4.5bn baht to establish its subsidiary, while foreign investors gathered Bt3.1bn. Working towards a major drive for expansion, however, the company is hoping that the foreign investment will increase.