US retail giant Wal-Mart has said it wants to have a store in every country in Europe, either by opening its own stores or making large acquisitions.

Wal-Mart's chief executive, Lee Scott, said the company would also consider expanding in Europe via its UK subsidiary Asda, reported the Financial Times.

Scott did not give details of which countries Wal-Mart was looking at, or what companies may be acquisition targets, but said he could not think "of any country in Europe that we wouldn't want to be in over the long course of time".

"If you get an attractive deal in Europe at some point that would be an opportunity. But our growth internationally will be a combination of strategic acquisitions and greenfield opportunities. And we could have Asda stores in some different countries," Scott was quoted by the FT as saying.

Wal-Mart's European operations are so far limited to Asda and two small German retailers, which the company acquired in 1997.