French retail firm Carrefour SA has said it will close its five cash & carry stores in India, winding up its business in the country amid stiff opposition from the Narendra Modi-led government to foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail sector.
The world's second largest retailer by sales has been operating the stores that target professional customers since 2010.
It noted that its business closure in India will become effective at the end of September.
"Until that time, the company will continue to be fully engaged with all its employees, suppliers, partners and customers to ensure a smooth transition," it said in a statement.
Carrefour, led by Chief Executive Georges Plassat, has recently been closing operations in underperforming markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Greece and Colombia, as it looks to revive business in its home country.
Carrefour has been in talks with Indian retail companies and strategic investors on the sale of its Indian assets. However, it did not reveal if it has found a buyer for its stores.
The decision to exit India comes amid tough regulatory conditions in the country.
India opened up its $500bn (£292bn, €368bn) retail sector for foreign players in 2012. Nevertheless, the country's mandatory sourcing and infrastructure requirements among other tough norms made it nearly impossible for global supermarket chains to operate there.
Early entrant into the market, Wal-Mart Stores, ended its joint venture in India and shelved its plans to open retail stores in the country in 2013. However, the world's largest retailer has not exited its Indian operations. It is single-handedly running an expanding wholesale store chain, and recently launched an e-commerce venture.
So far, Britain's Tesco is the only supermarket operator to announce plans to set up stores in India.
India's newly-elected government under Modi is not likely to support further relaxations for FDI in the retail sector.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party earlier said in its manifesto for the 2014 elections that it would reverse the country's decision to allow majority foreign ownership in multi-brand retail, as the policy will hurt local shopkeepers.