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Wal-Mart splits from India partner; retail on hold

MUMBAI, India – Wal-Mart Stores says it has ended its joint ventures with an Indian partner and has put plans to open its own retail stores on hold until Indian regulations ease.

The move by the world’s largest retailer represents a blow to India’s attempts to attract foreign investment in retailing. Wal-Mart Asia CEO Scott Price recently said Indian regulations requiring foreign retailers to buy 30 percent of products from local small and medium businesses make opening its own stores impossible.

A statement Wednesday said Wal-Mart and Bharti Enterprises would dissolve their partnership in both wholesale and retail stores.

Wal-Mart will buy Bharti’s stake in the Best Price Modern Wholesale cash and carry business and continue to operate it in India. Bharti will take 100 percent ownership of the retailing joint venture Easyday.