A senior executive of Ek-Chai Distribution, the company which operates the Tesco Lotus stores, has denied a report that the Charoen Pokphand Group is planning to sell its holding in the hypermarket chain to UK retailer Tesco.

The executive was reported by the Bangkok Post as saying that Tesco Lotus, the Thai unit of UK-based Tesco, was the best commercial partner for Charoen Pokphand and that there was no reason for the relationship to be broken.

Charoen Pokphand sold a 75% stake in Tesco Lotus to Tesco in 1997. The group now holds less than a 1% stake in Tesco Lotus.