Today in the Fortune 500: Payback Citi, Walmart bias case gets serious, cold brew between Kraft and Starbucks.

December 7, 2010, 6:40 PM UTC
NYC - TriBeCa: Smith Barney-Citigroup Building
Image by wallyg via Flickr

The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here then are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.

By Shelley DuBois, reporter

CASHING IN ON THE CRISIS The Treasury Department sold its last shares of the formerly bailed-out bank Citigroup (C) for $10.5 billion. The Treasury says the sale will put the $12 billion profit from the deal back into taxpayer’s pockets. [Wall Street Journal]

BUT CITI’S HEADED FOR THE HUNAN and is betting on better banking in China. Citigroup plans to triple its workforce in China in the next three years to ultimately employ 12,000 people there. It’s part of a larger strategy to build more banks across Asia, which is recovering faster than the US from the financial crisis. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

WALMART GETS THE COLD SHOULDER in Russia. Two major grocery chains are joining forces to try to compete with the superstore’s impending expansion into Russia. The two chains, Pyaterochka and Kopeika, agreed on a roughly $1.7 billion merger. [The New York Times]

NOT TO MENTION WOMAN PROBLEMS AT HOME The Supreme Court is going to look at the accusation that Walmart (WMT) discriminates against women, and has for decades. Reportedly, 70% of the top Fortune 500 company’s hourly workforce is female, compared to only one third of its management. [CNNMoney]

SO LONG, SOGGY WAFFLES Kellogg (K) CEO David Mackay is jumping ship. The last two years have been tough for the company–Kellogg suffered a cereal sales slump, a smelly box recall, and a flooded waffle-making plant. [Wall Street Journal]

HELL HATH NO FURY like a food company scorned. Yesterday, Kraft (KFT) begged the US District Court in New York to legally keep Starbucks (SBUX) from walking out on the contract that allowed Kraft to sell Starbucks coffee to its retailers. Next on the Fortune 500 soap opera channel, Starbucks issues a restraining order. [BBC]

ANCIENT GEEK HISTORY Apple’s (APPL) co-founder leads a tour of his favorite throw-back tech equipment. Included are some early stage IBM (IBM) gadgets and the Adam of Apple computers. [Wired]