Tesco has signed a joint venture agreement to develop shopping malls in China as it ramps up expansion plans in the country.

The retailer will build three shopping malls in Shenyang, Xiamen and Fuzhou and each will include a Tesco hypermarket as the anchor tenant.

A consortium of Asian investors including Singapore’s Metro Holdings will own the other half of the joint venture.

The total value of the project is about £170m with Tesco and the consortium each investing about £30m of equity alongside debt from banks including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank.

Tesco currently operates four Lifespace shopping malls and 93 Tesco hypermarkets in China. 

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