President Chain Store Corp - Taiwan's largest convenience store operator - is in talks to secure licences to operate 7-Eleven stores in China from Southland Corp of the United States. President group president Hsu Chung-jen said negotiations were continuing, but the company was in no rush to expand into China because supermarkets, which usually came before convenience stores, were not well-developed on the mainland. 'We expect to open convenience stores in China within five years,' he said after a presentation in Hong Kong for the company's forthcoming flotation in Taiwan aimed at raising at least NT$2.58 billion (about HK$731.4 million). President will not be the sole 7-Eleven operator in China because Dairy Farm has stores in Shenzhen. Mr Hsu said he expected Southland to grant China licences for 7-Eleven stores on a regional basis. 'China is such a vast country, so it is impossible for one company to run all the stores,' he said. President has 1,300 convenience stores in Taiwan, all under the 7-Eleven name, and it plans to have 2,000 at the end of the decade, or an average of 180 new stores over the next four years. 'Even after five years, convenience stores are still at their early stage of development in Taiwan,' Mr Hsu said. He said one store was now serving 6,500 customers, and the market would become saturated when one store served 3,000. President Chain Store will realise no money from the flotation, because the 43 million shares on offer are existing shares sold by the holding company, President Enterprise Corp. The shares will be divided by two tranches, with a half for a tender offer with a minimum bid price of $60 each, with the bidding beginning next month. The remaining 50 per cent of the shares will be for a fixed price offer in November, and the shares will begin trading on the exchange in December. President Chain Store expects net profit of $889 million this year, and $1.09 billion next year. In addition to the 7-Eleven convenience stores, the company is diversifying into drugstores. It aims to open 20 this year and 140 by 1999. Mr Hsu said the drugstore operation would make losses of $20 million this year, but would churn out profits in 1999.