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Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2006, 22:56 GMT
Tesco ends Bharti talks on India
Tesco trolley
Tesco is to review how it can enter the Indian market
Tesco has stopped talks with Indian firm Bharti Enterprises about launching a potentially-lucrative retail joint venture business in the country.

The UK supermarket giant has not said why it has ended negotiations.

But it said it remained "excited by the opportunities available in India" and would continue to review how it might enter the market.

Bharti chairman Sunil Mittal told Reuters a partnership would be signed soon, but did not say with whom.

Retail industry

The Bharti joint venture is seen as a huge opportunity for foreign retailers to get a foothold in a market analysts expect will double in size to $637bn (330bn) by 2015.

Bharti has held talks with Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Metro as well as Tesco, according to reports.

As the Indian economy continues to expand strongly, its retail industry, currently worth $300bn (161bn) a year, is forecast to grow to $427bn (221bn) by 2010 and $637bn (330bn) by 2015.

Large overseas retailers such as Tesco, Metro and Wal-Mart are currently barred at the retail level in India, but not in the wholesale market.

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