CHINA: Tesco has signed a joint venture agreement with a consortium of Asian investors to develop shopping centres in China. As part of the deal, Tesco will build three shopping centres in Shenyang, Xiamen and Fuzhou. Each location will include a Tesco hypermarket as the anchor tenant.

The total value of the project is about £170m, with Tesco and the consortium each investing about £30m of equity alongside debt from banks including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Standard Chartered Bank.

SPAIN: Carrefour has announced plans to spin off its Madrid-based discount arm Dia and 25% of Carrefour Property. The Dia business will be publicly listed on the Madrid stock exchange and the property unit in Paris if the move goes ahead. Carrefour said the Dia spin-off would allow the group to focus on developing the potential of its brand and core activities. This week, Carrefour reported an 11.3% increase in full-year profits to 382m.

NETHERLANDS: Ahold has posted a sharp fall in fourth-quarter profits and warned 2011 would remain challenging for food retail. Profits dropped 42% to £131m during the quarter on the back of cost inflation and "intense promotional activity", particularly in the US. Ahold also announced plans to buy back £0.85bn in stock for the next 18 months to pursue its growth strategy.

"Although there are signs of a gradual economic recovery, we expect consumers to remain cautious in their spending," said Ahold CEO Dick Boer.

SERBIA: Delhaize has announced plans to acquire Delta Maxi retail group from its parent Delta Holdings for £794.6m, including £256m of debt. The deal gives Delhaize control of about 450 stores across five countries in South East Europe and will make it market leader in the region.

US: Dallas-based Dean Foods president and COO Joseph Scalzo has left in a management restructure. Chairman and CEO Gregg Engles will assume his operating responsibilities. The company is completing a three-year £184m cost-cutting programme but the company has warned more cuts are planned.