South Korea
Samsung Corporation has announced plans to sell its 11% stake in Tesco's South Korean operation, Samsung Tesco. Samsung said it would sell off 5% in 2007 and the remaining 6% later as part of a bid to focus on its core areas, such as construction. A spokesman said: "Retail is not our core business and we are not in the right environment to grow the business further." Tesco entered South Korea in 1999 and has 62 stores in the country.

Groupe Casino has signed a joint venture agreement with consultancy Dunnhumby to analyse data from Casino's loyalty card programmes in a bid to understand its customers' shopping habits better. Dunnhumby has similar arrangements in the UK with Tesco and in the US with Kroger.

United States
Wal-Mart has announced plans to phase out 20 chemicals from its products over the next two years. The retailer said it would begin a 'Preferred Chemical Principles' programme as part of a bid to make its products more sustainable. It is starting with three chemicals - the pesticides propoxur and permethrin, and an ingredient used in some cleaning products called nonyl phenol ethoxylates.

French retailer Carrefour has said it is not interested in making a big acquisition in China. Responding to reports that Wal-Mart was close to securing a deal to buy hypermarket chain Trust-Mart for $1bn, chief executive officer Jose Luis Duran said: "We asked ourselves whether we should keep the emphasis on organic growth or take the risk of doing a large acquisition with all the problems and challenges of integration. We are more interested in organic growth, and we will not deviate from that."

Supermarket chain Metro has reported a 31% fall in third-quarter net profit to E81.5m (£54.4m). Metro blamed the decrease on costs linked to its purchase of Wal-Mart's German operations in August and the acquisition of Geant hypermarkets in Poland. It also said its Real hypermarkets chain posted its biggest loss to date of E41m, compared with E32m the year before.

Spar International has opened its third store in Romania. The outlet has a total sales area of 14,500 sq ft and offers 7,000 lines, 30% of them fresh products. Sales at its first store, which opened in the city of Arad in August, are already double those projected. The group plans to open a further seven stores in Romania this year.

United States
Procter & Gamble's first-quarter net profit to 30 September rose 33% to $2.7bn (£1.4bn), on sales up 27% at $18.8bn. The group said its acquisition of Gillette last year for $57bn (£30bn) had fuelled sales growth, with blades and razor sales up 12% to $1.3bn.