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Lotte seeks shopping malls in India

Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin (second from left) poses with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (center) in New Delhi on Thursday. Lotte Group
Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin (second from left) poses with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (center) in New Delhi on Thursday. Lotte Group

Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin on Thursday requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support in Lotte’s culture-shopping complex development in the New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai regions.

“Thanks to the Modi government’s economic stimulus policies, India is seeing rapid economic growth every year,” chairman Shin was quoted as telling Modi in New Delhi.

“I would like to ask for your support in Lotte’s advancement into retail, hotels as well as large-complex construction sectors, where the company could share its know-how and benefits with local communities,” he said.

Shin has projected plans to build shopping mall annexes to train stations, just as the company has often done in Korea, including Lotte shopping towns in Sogong-dong and Jamsil, which are attached to subway stations Euljiro 1-ga Station and Jamsil Station in Seoul, respectively.

Shin’s meeting with Modi comes three months after the Indian prime minister visited Seoul in May and met a slew of Korean businessmen.

Shin visited India to mark the opening of Lotte Confectionery’s plant in Rohtak City in northern India on Wednesday. The 24,793-square-meter plant is dedicated to producing 60 billion won ($51 million) of vegetarian Choco Pie snacks annually, tailored for the predominately vegetarian local market. 

This is Shin’s first official overseas trip since being tapped for the chairmanship of Lotte in both Korea and Japan on Aug. 17. Inaugurated as Lotte Korea’s chairman in 2011, Shin has been keen on overseas expansion, especially on the real estate development sector.

In September last year, the Lotte Center Hanoi opened in the Vietnamese capital. In May, the company signed a deal with Vietnamese authorities to jointly develop an “EcoSmart City” in Ho Chi Minh. A 570,000-square-meter Lotte World Chengdu in China is also under development.

Meanwhile, Lotte Group said Friday that chairman Shin bought a total of 19,000 shares, or 1.3 percent, of Lotte Confectionery that Lotte E&C owned at a price of 35.8 billion won. This will make Shin the sole largest shareholder of the snack maker and at the same time will dissolve 140 links of 416 cross-holding structures Lotte Group has in Korea.

Shin has previously pledged to dissolve 80 percent of the cyclical shareholding links within the company by November, a month before the assessment for the license to run urban duty-free stores begin. Lotte owns a total of three duty-free stores, and two in Seoul are subject to the evaluation, as the company fears losing them in backlash to the very public managerial tantrum.

This is a first step to show Shin’s willingness to add transparency to the firm’s management, the company spokesman said.

By Bae Ji-sook(baejisook@heraldcorp.com)

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