Prospective partners for a joint supermarket-operating venture in China and India have reached a "fairly advanced stage of negotiations" with Singapore' largest supermarket operator NTUC FairPrice, which operates 87 outlets and posted sales for this year exceeding S$1bn.Chairman of NTUC FairPrice, Chandra Das, revealed that the company has set aside S$20m in funds for the overseas venture, but could reveal nothing about when, and if, it would start: "I would have liked to have started yesterday."