A Wal-Mart customer enters a store.
A Wal-Mart customer enters a store. - 
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The world's largest retailer has abandoned Russia. Walmart never opened an actual store there. But it did open an office in Moscow with public plans to expand.

Reporter Peter van Dyk has more.

PETER VAN DYK: Russia is one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world. But for many U.S. companies, it's hard to start fresh here. Instead, many multinationals buy an existing local company -- and grow it. Pepsico just spent billions of dollars to buy the largest Russian milk and juice producer. That's what Walmart wanted to do. But Kopeika -- a chain named after the Russian word for "penny" -- was just sold to a local competitor, instead.

Natalya Zagvozdina is an investment banker at Renaissance Capital.

NATALYA ZAGVOZDINA: I think they realize that organically the next few years will not offer them a lot of opportunity to open. They just have nothing to buy.

In a few years, she says, Wal-Mart will probably be back -- Russia is just growing too fast.After all Wal-Mart has successfully broken into the other big emerging markets of Brazil, India and China. For now, though, Russia is a BRIC too far.

In Moscow, I'm Peter van Dyk for Marketplace