The board of Saudi Arabian retailer Al Hokair has approved an expansion plan that covers Kazakhstan and could eventually include Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

The group, which specialises in fashion retailing - including franchises for Inditex and M&S - and foodservice, would not disclose further details, saying only that it would want to achieve growth via acquisitions or stakebuilding in existing companies.

Any deal would be financed from Al Hokair’s own resources, it added.