Trust-Mart, the largest foreign-owned retailer in China, has been put up for sale, according to a report in the Financial Times. The retailer is thought likely to fetch around US$2bn, with a number of prominent international retail groups expected to show interest.

UBS has been appointed to advise on the sale, saying it was expecting interest from international retailers. Many such retailers are known to be keen to expand into China, but suitable acquisition targets are thin on the ground.

Groups such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco have already been suggested as possible buyers for the Taiwanese-owned retailer which has a nationwide presence, the FT said. Trust-Mart is thought to have annual sales in excess of US$1bn.