Corporate Sep 9, 2013
New Delhi: US-based retail giant Walmart today said it is optimistic about growing its wholesale cash and carry business in India, which it runs together with Bharti Enterprises.
Amid reports of the two partners ending their six year old partnership, Walmart said India is an important market for it and the company continues to study implications of the new FDI policy on its business.
"Walmart is optimistic about growing our Best Price Wholesale cash and carry business in India, as well as future retail investment opportunities that can be made possible through a clear and predictable FDI policy," Walmart India spokeswoman told PTI in an e-mailed reply.
Bharti Walmart, a 50:50 joint venture between Walmart and Bharti Enterprises, operates wholesale stores under Best Price brand name.
Reports have said Walmart and Bharti are expected to end their partnership and the world's biggest retailer has begun talks with other firms for front-end retail foray in India.
She, however, declined to comment on the issue.
A Bharti group spokesperson also refused to comment on the issue saying: "As a policy, we do not comment on market speculation."
The reports had suggested that Walmart would not convert into equities USD 100 million it had invested in the Bharti Group in 2010 through compulsorily convertible debentures (CCDs).
The investment is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged flouting of norms.
The Walmart spokeswoman, however, said: "We are in compliance with India's FDI guidelines and we have cooperated with the government during this process. The central government has sought information and clarification that has been provided by us."
Stressing on the importance of Indian operations in company's global portfolio, the Walmart India spokeswoman said: "India is an important market for us and we continue to study the implications of the new FDI policy on our business.
We think India's best days are ahead, and we are excited to be a part of this opportunity."
She said the change in norms for FDI in retail "will improve shopping options for customers, provide new markets to local suppliers and farmers, and improve supply chain infrastructure in the country".
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