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Wal-Mart Opening 252 Stores in Mexico in 2009

Wal-Mart de Mexico SA said Thursday it will invest 11.8 billion pesos ($805 million) and open 252 new stores in 2009 despite the slowing Mexican economy.

The investment represents a 4 percent increase compared to last year and will create 14,500 new direct jobs, said Walmex Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Solorzano.

Solorzano said the growth plan for Walmex, the Mexican unit of Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is possible thanks to the company's commercial aggressiveness and strict spending.

"We've always been aggressive in the commercial part and more conservative on the financial one and this is how we will continue to manage the company," he said.

Mexico has been battered by the recession in the United States, which buys 80 percent of the goods it sells abroad. Mexico's growth slowed to 1.5 percent in 2008 from 3.3 percent the year before, as consumer credit tightened and money sent home by migrants fell.

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