The chief executive of wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry is pinning his hopes on the "dynamic growth" of the middle classes of Kazakhstan and Egypt as the German retail giant continues its international expansion.

Frans Muller, Metro CC's CEO, said the rise of the middle class in both countries and the development of the horeca sector offered "enormous potential" to his business.

Today (27 October), Metro CC opened its first store in Kazakhstan and started building its first outlet in Egypt.

"We are confident that our B2B model not only has a sustainable growth perspective in both markets, but that we will also contribute significantly to the positive economic development of both countries," Muller said.

Metro CC is looking at opening up to 15 stores in Kazakhstan at a cost of EUR15-20m (US$22.2-29.6m) a store.

The retailer plans to open the outlet in Egypt by next summer. When Metro CC first announced its plans to expand into Egypt in May 2008, it said the outlet would be open this autumn.

Officials at Metro CC could not be reached for immediate comment.