US retail giant Wal-Mart is reportedly in buyout talks with Russian hypermarket chain Karusel.

According to Reuters, a Karusel-hired investment bank is holding negotiations with Wal-Mart, even though Russia's top retailer X5 is said to have an option to buy control of Karusel next year.

Karusel, which opened 13 hypermarkets in Russia last year, later told the news agency that it had indeed hired investment banks, with Wal-Mart the most promising of a range of possible buyers.