Indian reports have been circulating today that French retailer Carrefour has signed an exclusive franchise agreement with UAE’s Landmark Group to open a hypermarket in India.

According to CNN-IBN, an Indian news television channel, a definitive agreement could be reached in the next three to four weeks.

Dubai-based Landmark currently operates non-food stores in five Indian cities but is not yet a player in the food retail market.

Foreign companies are barred from direct ownership of food retail chains by strict legislation restricting foreign direct ownership. UK retailer Tesco has also reportedly been in talks with Indian conglomerate Bharti with a view to entering the market through a partnership.