Wal-Mart has introduced basic financial services for US customers in some of its stores and is now expanding the services across the US.

The services available includes cheque cashing, wire transfers and money orders, which the retail giant said it can offer without actually owning a bank.

Procter & Gamble said it would look at acquisitions to meet up to one-quarter of its long-term sales targets.

Chief executive Alan Lafley said acquisitions would add at least 1% to sales as part of its plan to boost turnover by 4% to 6%. “We think about 2% is market growth and we tried to be conservative. There is another 1% to 3% that we call organic growth and that is internally generated innovation,” Lafley told French paper Les Echos.

French retailer Auchan is to close its two remaining US hypermarkets in Houston within the next three months.

The group now plans to focus on the markets in Eastern Europe, Russia, China and Taiwan.

The French government has reaffirmed its opposition to fundamental reform of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy and insisted production subsidies must remain to ensure future global food security.

As reported in The Financial Times French agricultural minister Hervé Gaymard told a farming conference in Oxford that changes to open up farming radically to market forces were unrealistic.