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India's Murugappa Group Unveils $790M Chip Venture Panther Media / Alamy

India's Murugappa Group Unveils $790M Chip Venture

Conglomerate plans to develop a semiconductor assembly and test facility over the next five years.

(Bloomberg) -- India’s Murugappa Group added $3 billion in market value Wednesday after one of the conglomerate’s unit announced a foray into semiconductors.  

The shares of the group’s electric motor maker CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd. surged by the 20% limit to a record, prompting similar-sized rallies in two other group stocks, after saying it plans to invest $791 million in a semiconductor assembly and test facility over five years.

The proposal comes against the backdrop of India’s ambition to create a robust tech manufacturing sector that has already drawn investments from Apple Inc. suppliers. The foray would also provide investors an opportunity to bet on a sector that’s added trillions of dollars in stock values globally this year, but has been largely absent from the nation’s $3.7 trillion equity market.

“Murugappa Group is capable of foraying into this business, which is highly sophisticated and requires technology collaboration with global players,” said Kranthi Bathini, a strategist with Mumbai-based WealthMills Securities. Still, the venture is capital intensive with a longer payback period, he said. 

Other group companies – Tube Investments of India Ltd. and Shanthi Gears Ltd. – surged 20% each, while Carborundum Universal Ltd. climbed as much as 9%.

CG Power plans to fund the investment via subsidies, debt and equity contributions from partners, according to a statement. 

The Murugappa group, which began in the banking markets of Burma in the 1900s, operates 29 businesses and is present in 40 countries, according to its website.

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