Bloomberg News

NEW YORK - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which refused to extend a $250 million credit line to Ford Motor Co. earlier this year, provided Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with about $100 million in such credit, said people familiar with the matter.

Goldman's apparent decision to accede to Wal-Mart while rebuffing Ford reflects Wall Street's effort to juggle clients' demands without being dragged into a marginally profitable business, one that traditionally has been the province of banks. Companies such as Ford and Genuity Inc. have sought credit lines as a condition of awarding investment banking business.

Goldman agreed to a private arrangement with the world's biggest retailer rather than join 36 others in a $4.5 billion line that Banc of America Securities arranged in June, the people said. Wal-Mart officials declined to comment, as did Jon Murchinson, a spokesman for Goldman.

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