A Big C Supermarket in ancient Hue City of Thua Thien-Hue Province. (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Casino Group may sell its Big C supermarket chain in Vietnam as it seeks to strengthen its financial flexibility by selling assets in Vietnam, as well as Thailand and Colombia, the French retailer said in a release.

In 2016 it hopes to carry out a deleveraging plan worth more than 2 billion euros (2.2 billion USD) mainly through real estate transactions and disposal of non-core assets, including its operations in Vietnam, consisting of 32 Big C outlets.

It will also seek to bring in investors into its real estate operations in Thailand and Colombia.

In Thailand, Big C owns almost 800,000 square metres of gross leasable area in its shopping malls across the country.

In Colombia, it has more than 300,000 square meters of leasable area, excluding hypermarkets.

It hopes the deleveraging programme, coupled with the expected increase in cash flow after dividends in France, will combine to significantly improve its financial structure.

Following these moves, the company will continue to focus on its growth strategy in its key markets of France, Latin America, and Asia around buoyant assets.

A Big C Vietnam spokesperson told Vietnam News, "However, the plan will not affect the current operations and approved investment plans in the country."

Big C is among several major foreign retailers in Vietnam and a big player in the country's retail sector.-VNA