Wal-Mart is reportedly planning a move into the Russian market via a stake in a local supermarket chain.
According to local press reports, Wal-Mart is in talks with Promyshlenno-Finansovaya Kompaniya BIN to buy a 75% stake in its 31-strong supermarket chain.
Speculation Wal-Mart was looking at the market began in earnest late last year after it sent a delegation of senior executives to Moscow.
Wal-Mart has declined to comment, but analysts said a move was "entirely logical" for Wal-Mart, which would follow a string of international retailers including Metro, Auchan, Spar and AVA into the market.
Casino also signalled its intention to enter the market earlier this year with plans to set up offices in the capital.
While PFK BIN's stores might not fit the typical Wal-Mart template, taking a stake would provide a point of entry and a base to grow organically in future, said analysts.
"Although the economy is not the most stable, the market opportunity is too big to miss," commented one.

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