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Starbucks Corporation (SBUX - Analyst Report) further strengthened its presence in Southeast Asia by recently opening its first store in Brunei and its 100th store in Singapore. Brunei marks Starbucks entry into the 64th international market.   

Brunei’s first Starbucks was opened at Mabohai Mall on Feb 16. The store features a slow bar, which enables customers to enjoy whole bean coffee that is brewed using Starbucks’ traditional Pour-Over technique. Customers can also enjoy a view of the Tasek Lama Recreational Park through the floor-to-ceiling glass window.

The store in Singapore will recruit people with autism. Starbucks has been in partnership with the Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) for about a decade. This partnership offers training to the autistic members of the community and empowers them to join the workforce. This 100th store in Singapore will hire 6 people with autism.

Starbucks is gaining popularity across Southeast Asia and currently has presence in 15 markets in the China, Asia Pacific (CAP) region. The relatively low per-capita consumption as well as a burgeoning middle class with rising income levels has increased the demand for convenience food and beverages and promise significant growth potential.

The company has plans to open about 750 stores in the (CAP)  region in 2014. The company will focus on its existing markets such as Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. The company also intends to include new markets such as Brunei in the region.

Starbucks Corporation currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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