Page last updated at 22:46 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 23:46 UK

Wal-Mart to invest $1bn in Brazil

Wal-Mart store
Wal-Mart opened its first outlet in Brazil in 1995

The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, says it will invest some 1.8bn reais ($1.1bn; 588m) to expand in Brazil.

The firm said it would open between 80 and 90 stores in 2009 in Latin America's largest country.

Wal-Mart, which opened its first outlet in Brazil in 1995, has 318 stores there and a local workforce of 70,000.

The announcement followed a meeting between the head of the firm's America division, Craig Herkert, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Brazil's economy has expanded in recent months thanks in part to more affordable consumer credit and rising incomes.

Even as retailers are feeling the pinch of a slowdown in the US, many are counting on stronger growth in developing markets in places such as China, Russia and Brazil.

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