Subscribe Search

Search form

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.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Hun Sen says Montagnards don’t exist in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen once again attacked ex-opposition leader Sam Rainsy for pledging “autonomy” to Montagnards, claiming – seemingly incorrectly – the ethnic minority does not exist in Cambodia. “We respect all minorities such as Jarai, Steang, Phnong, but we have never had Montagnards,” the premier said