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Singapore: Google Inc., owner of the most popular Internet search website, has set up a Southeast Asian headquarters in Singapore to expand in the region, the company said in a statement today.

Google named Lori Sobel as head of sales in Singapore, responsible for Southeast Asia. Google’s local advertisers range from small businesses to government agencies. The Singapore office will allow Google to target the search- advertising industry in emerging markets.

“The online environment in Southeast Asia is growing rapidly, with significant developments in broadband Internet access and e-commerce activities," said Richard Kimber, managing director of Southeast Asia, Google.

Google’s first-quarter profit rose 69% to $1bn as the company pulled further ahead of Yahoo! Inc. in the online-advertising market and expanded outside the US.

The company did not say which countries would be covered from Singapore. Southeast Asia comprises the city-state together with Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

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