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New York City -- Two of Russia's largest grocery store chains, Pyaterochka and Kopeika, said on Monday that they would merge their operations in a move that would better position them to compete with Wal-Mart Stores, which is expected to enter the Russian market, according to the New York Times.
The deal, worth about $1.7 billion including the assumption of debt, was also a sign of renewed confidence in the Russian consumer market, which has been picking up because of rising prices for oil and other commodities that Russia exports, the report said.