Tata to invest up to $27 bn over 5 years: report

NEW DELHI, April 18, 2011 (AFP) - India's giant Tata Group has said it will invest almost $30 billion mainly in the domestic market over the next five years as it seeks to double revenues to $150 billion.

The group, which has nearly 100 companies under its wing, said it plans to invest the money in sectors such as power, steel, automobiles, telecoms and chemicals.

"We have become a significant player globally in each of the sectors that we are present in," Tata Industries managing director Kishor A. Chaukar said in a weekend interview with the Press Trust of India.

He told the news agency that the group would invest as much as $27 billion in the next five years, most of it in its home Indian market.

When asked about the expected revenues of the group after the investment, Chaukar said: "It will be more than double in less than five years. I think it'll be around $140 billion to $150 billion."

Tata Industries is one of the investment arms of the Tata group.

The commitment comes as India's largest conglomerate seeks a successor to its chairman, Ratan Tata, 73, who plans to step down in December 2012.

Ratan, one of India's most respected corporate chiefs, has overseen a 40-fold increase in the group's revenues from 1991 when he took the reins of the family company.

The deadline for finding a replacement for Ratan has been extended to the end of May from an initial deadline of March after the search committee said it was having trouble finding a successor.

The planned investments include projects already in the pipeline such as a $3.7-billion power plant in western Gujarat state and a $4.4-billion steel plant in the central state of Chhattisgarh.

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