1. Market Data
November 26, 2013

Walmart halts expansion plans in India till 2015

US-based retailer Wal-Mart Stores has halted expansion plans of its cash-and-carry stores in India until 2015 following the group’s efforts to abide by the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to that in India.

The Act bars American companies from bribing government officials to operate and retain businesses in foreign lands. The freeze will be imposed on Best Price stores located in Sangli and Sholapur in Maharashtra as well as Anand in Gujarat.

Plans for acquiring real estate for any Best Price wholesale outlets in the medium-term future have been put on hold too.

The decision has been implemented after the culmination of the group’s seven-year partnership with Bharti Enterprises last month.

Walmart, which bought Bharti’s 50% stake in the wholesale Best Price business during their split-up, had earlier suspended its executives and avoided signing new property deals in the last one year on account of an internal FCPA-related investigation.

The company also confronted inquiries from the Indian government for alleged lobbying and foreign currency violations over its 2010 investment of $100m in the holding company of Bharti Retail.

However, a Walmart spokesperson, outlining the firm’s commitment to India, quotes, "We are in the process of implementing additional controls for our new store permit and licensing programme to ensure the process is handled appropriately and in full compliance with all laws and regulations."

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"As we develop and implement enhanced procedures for obtaining licences, there have been some temporary delays in store openings. We are making progress in this regard, and our goal is to resume opening stores in the right way," he added.