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Hindujas plan to set up N-plants

September 12, 2008 17:03 IST

The UK-based Hinduja Group plans to set up nuclear power plants in India after the government opens the sector to private players.

The group has already concluded talks with overseas companies which can offer technological and related support to enter the business, S P Hinduja, chairman, Hinduja Group said.

The expansion into nuclear is part of the group's plan to invest as much as $ 50 billion by 2014 to expand its business in the world's second-most populous nation. The London-based family is foraying into thermal power, hospitals, real estate and other businesses.

"There will be a flood of American investments in the country once the deal is concluded," the chairman said. The signing of the nuclear deal has helped India join the elite club and this is expected to remove the barriers and gain confidence of US investors, he said.

"Investors will be comfortable in investing in the country as India is a better destination than China," he argued.

The group also plans to acquire companies locally and overseas to expand its businesses, Hinduja said without naming a company or sector.

"There is enough scope for expansion in our area and we have the cash," he said. A slump in global economy and a slowdown in the India have forced companies to have a fresh look at their expansion plans. Hindujas plan to set up 10,000 MW of non-nuclear generating capacity in the country.

"Energy and infrastructure are two key areas of focus," he said, stressing that India needs to further move towards opening up the sector, including power tariffs.

Hindujas, which has promoted IndusInd Bank in India and owns Amas Bank in Switzerland, is also looking at financial sector for a big-ticket investment. "We will be looking at wealth management, mutual funds, insurance and other financial services," Hinduja told senior editors in an informal chat here. Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok Hinduja also took part in the interaction.

The group has already chalked out aggressive plans to expand in the automotive segment. Earlier, this week the group signed an agreement with Tamil Nadu government to invest Rs 4,150 crore (Rs 41.50 billion) jointly with the Japanese automobile major and its partner, Nissan.

Ashok Leyland, the group's heavy vehicle manufacturing unit, and Nissan signed the deal to acquire 380 acres of land to manufacture 190,000 light commercial vehicles. Ashok Leyland also unfolded plans to produce medium duty vehicles. The venture will also have facilities to make vehicles and powertrain. The entity will also set up a technology development unit.

The Hinduja group is in the process of revamping its corporate identity and working on a new logo which would be ready by this year-end, Ashok Hinduja said.

B S Reporter in Mumbai