Lotte doubles capital in Vietnam supermarket chain

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South Korean retailer Lotte Mart has doubled its capital outlay in Vietnam as part of a plan to expand business in the country, thesaigontimes.vn reported Monday.

It has raised the capital for its venture to US$120 million, a 45.8 percent increase from the original, according to the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment.

The infusion of additional capital came as Lotte prepared to buy the entire 20 percent stake held by the Minh Van company in its joint venture with the local partner. The purchase makes it the sole owner of Lotte Vietnam Shopping Co., Ltd.

The South Korean retail giant has also extended its businesses to the central province of Da Nang and the southeast province of Dong Nai with two projects worth $30 million and $40 million respectively.  

The two new supermarkets are scheduled to open late this year. 

Lotte plans to have 60 supermarkets in Vietnam by 2020. It had said once in 2008 that it would develop a chain of 30 outlets in 15 years.

Inaugurated in late 2008, Lotte Vietnam Shopping opened two retail outlets, both in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Lotte Mart and Minh Van Manufacture Trade Private Enterprise signed a $65-million contract in 2006, under which Lotte Mart raised $52 million or 80 percent of the joint venture's charter capital.

Vietnam's retail sales this year through September was VND1,713 trillion ($82.2 billion), a 17.3 percent rise from a year ago, General Statistics Office data showed.

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