Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney to enter Philippines

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MANILA--U.S. retail giants Wal-Mart Stores, J.C. Penney Co. and other foreign retailers are planning to launch operations in the Philippines in 2000. The move follows approval by the country's House of Representatives of proposed legislation allowing the entry of foreign investors in the highly protected retail sector.

The Senate is expected to approve the bill by the first quarter of next year, according to a top official at the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry.

Wal-Mart is planning to build five to 10 warehouse-style stores initially.

The U.S. retail giant has long been considering setting up shop in the Philippines but has been deterred by the country's laws requiring all retail establishments to have 100% Filipino equity.

Other retailers planning to enter the Philippines include Carrefour of France, Seiyu of Japan and Hong Kong-based Well-Come.

Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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