Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Royal Group, SK’s E-Mart sign MoU for hypermarket

Royal Group, SK’s E-Mart sign MoU for hypermarket

Royal Group Chairman Kith Meng speaks during the launch of a new TV station in 2012.
Royal Group Chairman Kith Meng speaks during the launch of a new TV station in 2012.

Royal Group, SK’s E-Mart sign MoU for hypermarket

Local conglomerate Royal Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday to form a new joint venture with South Korea’s largest retailer, E-Mart Inc, to build a hypermarket – a massive retail outlet that combines a supermarket with a department store – in Cambodia.

The MoU was signed in Phnom Penh between Royal Group Chairman Kith Meng and Lee Gab-soo, CEO of E-Mart Inc, with participation from Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak and Korean Ambassador to Cambodia, Kim Weon-jin.

Rami Sharaf, senior vice president of Royal Group, said the two firms would hold further discussions of the joint venture structure, with him expecting that a finalised agreement would be signed later this year. If all goes as planned, he said “E-Mart Royal” could be operational as soon as the first quarter of 2019.

“For us, in Royal Group, it is strategic to have a retail business, keeping in mind the steady growth of Cambodia and the young age of the population,” he said. “We believe that with E-Mart we have the best options to differentiate us from all the other players in the market.”

Sharaf said the two companies would invest up to $120 million in the joint venture, though declined to disclose the shareholding arrangement, noting that the details of the agreement were still under discussion.

The location for the hypermarket has yet to be determined, but sources said it would occupy 3 hectares of land, most likely in the capital’s Sen Sok district.

South Korean Ambassador Kim Weon-jin said the collaboration between E-Mart and Royal Group should boost confidence in Cambodia’s retail sector and increase foreign investment from Korea.

“It is my sincere hope that this joint investment project will be a huge success and become a symbolic case for the success of economic cooperation between our two countries,” he said.

E-Mart is the largest retailer in South Korea with 160 stores across the country as of the end of last year. The company was the first South Korean retailer to invest heavily in the Chinese market, reaching 26 stores in 2011, but has since scaled back its presence due to mounting losses and souring relations between the two countries. In June it announced it would close its six remaining stores in China.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from