GERMANY: Metro Group has laid down its expansion policy for the next decade, saying it plans to focus on Asia and Eastern Europe at the expense of the US.

"The US is not on our top-priority list," said deputy chief executive Thomas Unger. "We will increase our exposure to Eastern Europe and especially Asia because that's where we see an enormous growth potential in the long term."

Unger was appointed this month as part of a reshuffle of the executive team. He is in charge of Metro's restructuring as well as its consumer electronics, department store and real estate businesses.

CHINA: Supermarket chain Times is up for sale after the majority shareholder invited offers from potential bidders. Kenneth Fang and his family, who own 72.3% of the company, are hoping for more than $560m (£341.5m). Potential bidders could include Wumart Stores and Lianhua Supermarket, and are being asked to pay more than HK$5 (39p) per share. Times raised US$113m (£68.9m) by selling shares to the public in July 2007 after Wumart backed out of an agreement to buy half the company for about US$150m (£91.4m) in cash and shares earlier that year.

CHINA: Nestlé this week opened a new production line for Nescafé in Shanghai, while predicting the recession was unlikely to affect demand. Sales in China would grow close to 20% annually over the next few years, said Patrice Bula, chairman and chief executive of Nestlé China at the opening.

"The global financial crisis is not a major problem for a big food company like us because we sell products in many price ranges," said Bula. The 60m yuan (£5.35m) facility will be able to produce 7,000 tonnes of instant coffee every year.

US: Wal-Mart will find out next week if it can build a Supercenter near a Civil War battlefield in Virginia. Officials are holding a public hearing on Monday to discuss whether to allow the plan, which is opposed by conservationists. Wal-Mart has argued the land is designated for commercial use and the store will not be in sight of the battlefield's 2,700 protected acres.