(Fixes typo in Rayyan spelling, paragraph 2)
By Ceyda Caglayan
ISTANBUL, July 1 (Reuters) - Turkey’s Kiler Holding has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Qatar-based Al Rayyan to open and operate Kiler supermarkets in Doha, the Turkish company’s finance chief told Reuters in an interview.
Under the agreement, Kiler and Al Rayyan - which has tourism and trade interests - will open and operate Kiler stores in the Qatari capital, and introduce Turkish products to the market.
Kiler Holding has investments in retail, real estate, construction and energy. Its supermarket chain subsidiary Kiler has 202 stores in Turkey.
“We expect the final agreement to be signed by September, and the first store to be opened in early 2015. Although not decided yet, we are expecting to open at least 5 stores in Doha,” Kaan Aytogu, Kiler Holding chief financial officer, told Reuters late on Monday.
Aytogu did not elaborate on the size of the investment, since the final agreement has not been signed yet.
“We will focus on Doha for the next two years. But apart from this agreement, Kiler is also planning to open stores in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Kuwait’s Kuwait City, Saudi Arabia’s Dammam, Bahrain’s Manama and Oman’s Sohar and Muscat within five years,” Aytogu said.
Kiler’s sales in the retail sector exceeded 1 billion lira ($472 million) in 2013 and it expects 10 percent annual growth in the Turkish market for the next five years.
Kiler is aiming for annual sales of 500 million lira in foreign markets in the medium term, Aytogu said.
$1 = 2.1200 Turkish Liras Writing by Ceyda Caglayan and Ece Toksabay; Editing by Jonny Hogg and Mark Potter