May 2, 2007

Wal-Mart to ink deal with Bharti in two weeks

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retailer, today said it is close to finalising an agreement with its Indian partner Bharti for a wholesale cash-and-carry venture, and will open first store next year.

"We are in negotiations with Bharti and close to signing an agreement. We will announce details of the joint venture in a couple of weeks," Raj Jain, president (emerging markets), Wal-Mart International said.

He said the company could place a proposal to this affect to its global board of directors soon.The first cash-and-carry store is likely to be opened in the middle of 2008, he added.

"There is no major disagreement between Bharti and Wal-Mart," he said, when asked about the delay in finalising the joint venture.

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