SOUTH AFRICA: Shareholders in South African retailer Massmart have voted for Walmart to acquire a controlling stake in the company for £1.5bn. Despite 97% of shareholders approving the deal, unions in South Africa were still threatening to boycott the chain, accusing Walmart of not respecting workers' rights in other countries. The Competition Commission is expected to make its recommendation concerning the proposed acquisition later this month.

EGYPT: Nestlé is investing £104m in its factories and distribution centres in Egypt, adding 500 new jobs to its 3,000-strong workforce in the country. The three-year pledge follows £111m of investment in Egypt in the past 10 years and is part of the company's commitment to invest $1bn in Africa over the next two years. It wants to open six new factories on the continent by 2012, including one in Algeria and another in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Budejovicky Budvar has reported record export levels. The state-owned Czech brewery said its 2010 exports rose 4.3% last year the best growth in 115 years. Volume sales in Germany rose 4.7%, while sales in the US were up 4%.

US: Walmart charity the Walmart Foundation has donated $2m to help food banks save money on their energy bills. The donation will allow 16 food banks to become more energy efficient by upgrading lighting, refrigeration heating and air conditioning equipment. Saving more than $625,000 in energy costs will allow food banks to buy more than 300,000 meals, the foundation said.

"Every dollar these food banks save on energy costs is another dollar they can use to help meet the hunger needs of local communities," added Walmart Foundation president Margaret McKenna.

RUSSIA: Russia's largest grocery retailer, X5 Retail Group, has reported a 35% increase in fourth-quarter sales thanks to increased consumer spending and the acquisition of the Kopeyka discount chain. Sales totalled RUR 106.3bn (£2.2bn) for the period versus RUR 78.6bn (£1.6bn) in the final quarter of 2009.