India's Bharti to decide on fate of JV with Wal-Mart in October-report


MUMBAI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc's India partner, Bharti Enterprises, will take a call on thefuture of its wholesale joint venture with the U.S. retailerthis month, the Economic Times said on Thursday.

Wal-Mart should take a decision on its Indian retail plansin October and Bharti will accordingly decide if those plansmatch its overall retail ambitions, Sunil Bharti Mittal,chairman of Bharti Enterprises told reporters on the sidelinesof the India-Africa Business Council Meeting in Johannesburg.

Wal-Mart has an equal joint venture with Bharti under whichit runs its Best Price Modern Wholesale Stores in India and theU.S. retailer last year had called Bharti its "natural partner"to open its retail stores in the country.

In July, Reuters reported Bharti was looking to exit itsjoint venture with Wal-Mart.

India permitted foreign retailers to own 51 percent of theirIndian operations in September 2012, but ambiguity around rulesgoverning the policy has ensured no foreign retailer has so farapplied to enter the country.

A spokesman for Bharti Enterprises, which also runs topIndian telecommunications carrier Bharti Airtel,declined to comment beyond Mittal's comment published in thenewspaper.

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