Wal-Mart has signalled its intention to expand into Russia with the appointment of Dr Stephan Fanderl to head a number of its emerging markets.

Fanderl has been named president of emerging markets, east and will look to explore how to break into Russia and neighbouring markets, the group said.

Fanderl was formerly a member of Germany's Rewe Group and oversaw the company's hypermarkets and supermarkets operations.

Fanderl has also held positions in Poland and Germany with Metro.

"We are exceptionally pleased to have Stephan Fanderl join Wal-Mart Stores," said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart vice chairman. "He has outstanding managerial skills and has successfully developed Rewe's business in Germany and eight Eastern European countries."

Wal-Mart declined to comment further on its plans for the region. The world's largest retailer told just-food last year that it viewed Russia as "a very attractive market".