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Starbucks Delays Indian Chain Launch

Coffee giant Starbucks has put on hold its plan to open a chain of stores in India, the company said without giving any reason.

Starbucks has informed the Indian government that it has decided "to postpone our entry into India and officially withdraw the application to operate single-brand retail stores in this country," said a company statement received by The Associated Press Tuesday.

The Seattle-based company was among more than 15 companies that applied to open stores in India after its government last year allowed foreign investors to sell single brand products, subject to an equity cap of 51%.

The application was routed through Starbucks Coffee International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee.

The statement didn't give any reason for the withdrawal. Indian government officials dealing with the matter were not immediately available for comment.

"Starbucks is reviewing all our options and evaluating how we will proceed related to our entry into one of the fastest growing economies in the world," the statement said.

Last year, Starbucks said it planned to have a presence in 40 countries outside the U.S., including India, where it wanted to begin operations with an initial focus on major cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai.

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