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Wal-Mart's Indian Partner Details Plans

Bharti Enterprises plans to invest up to $2.5 billion to build a chain of stores across India.

Wal-Mart's (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report Indian partner, Bharti Enterprises, said Monday it plans to invest $2 billion to $2.5 billion to build a chain of stores across India over the next eight years that will employ some 60,000 people.

Wal-Mart signed a memorandum of understanding with Bharti late last year to jointly develop retail businesses in India. For Wal-Mart, the agreement was a way around Indian regulations that keep foreign multibrand retailers from setting up shop there.

India's booming economy and growing middle class have made it an attractive market for foreign retailers.

Media reports said that Wal-Mart and Bharti are expected to finalize their joint venture agreement soon, perhaps as early as this week, when top Wal-Mart officials are scheduled to visit India.

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Shares of Wal-Mart, which

plans to report earnings Tuesday, finished Friday¿s session up 12 cents at $48.48. U.S. markets were closed Monday in observance of the Presidents Day holiday.