September 21, 2012 / 7:37 AM / 7 years ago

Wal-Mart expects to open first India store within 18 months: report

Customers shop at a Best Price Modern Wholesale store, a joint venture of Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Bharti Enterprises, in Zirakpur in the northern Indian state of Punjab June 8, 2012. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/Files

REUTERS - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) is looking to open its first retail outlets in India within 12 to 18 months, Scott Price, president and CEO for Asia, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

The move comes after the UPA government last week agreed to allow megastore retailers to enter the country through joint ventures.

Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, has not yet decided where or how many stores it would like to have in India, Price told the newspaper.

Price added that the company expects to continue its current partnership with India’s Bharti Enterprises in a chain of 17 cash-and-carry stores, but it is not in discussions with any other companies for a potential retail partnership.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by David Goodman

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