Asda, the British arm of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores , said it had signed a franchise deal with a Lebanon-based firm to take its George budget clothing brand to the Middle East.

Britain's second biggest supermarket group behind Tesco said on Wednesday the Azadea Group would open George franchise stores in the Middle East.

Last year Asda announced plans to establish a small number of pilot George stores overseas.

The George label currently accounts for around half of Asda's general merchandise sales.

Last week Tesco announced a franchise deal with Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair & Co, the largest owner of shopping malls in Saudi Arabia, as part of a drive to transform its F&F clothing range into an international fashion brand.

Asda also said it had signed a franchise agreement with SandpiperCI that will see George stores open in Jersey and Guernsey.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton)