September 14, 2017 / 8:24 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Lotte Shopping picks Goldman to manage sales of supermarkets in China

    * Not decided if Lotte will sell all or part of stores in
    * Most Lotte stores in China remain shut amid political

 (Adds share price, background)
    SEOUL, Sept 14 (Reuters) - South Korea's Lotte Shopping
            has picked Goldman Sachs        to manage the sale
of its supermarkets in China, after most of them were shut down
amid political tensions between the two countries.
    It has not been decided whether the retailer will sell all
its China supermarkets or part of them, a Lotte official said. 
    Of Lotte's 99 Mart stores in China, 74 were shut down by
fire authorities over safety violations such as boxes blocking
exit doors. Another 13 stores were shut down because of
difficult business conditions.    
    China has pressured South Korean businesses via boycotts and
bans since Seoul decided last year to deploy a U.S.-made missile
defence system as a deterrent to nuclear-armed North Korea.
Beijing says the system's radar can penetrate far into its
    Lotte Group, South Korea's No.5 conglomerate, has been among
the hardest hit companies after it handed over land in southern
South Korea so the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
system could be installed there.
    Lotte has injected a total of 70 billion won ($62
million)into Mart stores in China to support the loss-making
    Lotte Shopping previously said it was considering selling
its supermarkets in China and other options should political
tensions between the countries continue next year.             
    Seoul deployed four more THAAD launchers last week, just
days after Pyongyang conducted its sixth nuclear
    Lotte Shopping shares closed down 2 percent prior to the
news, versus the wider market         that was up 0.7 percent. 
 ($1 = 1,131.4700 won)

 (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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