RUSSIA: Finnish retailer Kesko is reported to be interested in acquiring Carrefour's Russian business after the French retailer announced its decision to exit the market. The surprise decision by Carrefour, just four months after opening its first store in the country, was due to "an absence of sufficient organic growth prospects and acquisition opportunities", it said.

Kesko, which operates K-Food stores and the Kespro wholesale business, also runs building and home improvement stores and last week reported a 3.6% rise in third-quarter sales to 966m (£873m).

US: Wal-Mart is to open smaller stores in order to maintain growth and keep winning market share. The retailer is famous for its vast hypermarkets but will grow sales 4% to 6% next year by opening smaller stores in areas that don't need such a large store, chief financial officer Tom Schoewe told investors last week.

The average size of its supercentres had fallen from 180,000 sq ft five years ago to 150,000 sq ft and that trend would continue, he said. Wal-Mart has also announced it will cut prices on key items every week in the run up to Christmas. One of the first cuts is to bananas, which it is selling for 39c (24p) per lb.

KAZAKHSTAN: Metro has opened its first C&C in Kazakhstan, in the capital city Astana, as it continues its international expansion strategy. The wholesaler has also announced it has started to build its first store in Egypt.

"With the dynamic growth of the middle class and the impressive development of the hotel, restaurant and service sector, Kazakhstan, as well as Egypt, offers enormous potential for our self-service wholesale business," said Frans Muller, chief executive of Metro International.

BRUSSELS: PepsiCo has won EU regulatory approval to buy bottlers Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas in deals that will help it cut costs and boost profits. PepsiCo announced the $7.8bn (£4.7bn) deal in early August after running the bottlers as separate companies for the past 10 years. Brussels cleared both deals, saying they would not impede competition in Europe.