Tesco Stores, a joint venture between UK supermarket operator Tesco and Malaysia's Sime Darby, is reportedly planning to expand its business with three new stores in Penang, Perak and Kedah.

Tesco neither confirmed nor denied the report. "We have just opened our fourth store, in Mutiara Damansara, which marks the completion of the first phase of our expansion plans," Tesco's head of corporate affairs, Azlam Shah Alias, was quoted by Business Times as saying.

"We are in the midst of working on the second phase of the expansion plans and seeking the necessary approvals from government agencies," he added.

Azlam emphasised that Tesco's investment in Malaysia is long term and said it was therefore important for the retailer to comply with government guidelines. 

"Therefore, we believe that it is not the time for us to announce at this point. However, we are actively seeking sites as well as working with developers and landowners," Azlam said.