Wal-Mart appears to have jimmied open the door to the retail market in India.
The company has made no secret of its ambitions in India, but restrictions on foreign-owned retail operation in the country have kept the world's biggest retailer out. Now, Wal-Mart will exploit an apparent loophole in Indian restrictions through an agreement with Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises. Wal-Mart apparently beat out United Kingdom-based retail giant Tesco PLC to score the agreement – details of which are still largely undisclosed.
Bharti (New Delhi) and Wal-Mart signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which a Bharti statement calls an agreement to "jointly explore business opportunities in India." Sources are reporting that Wal-Mart and Bharti will jump-start a joint venture with an investment of approximately U.S. $100 million each. Bharti will open stores across India, with the first expected to open on Indian Independence Day in August 2007.
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