The DS Group is to invest around 1.3bn rupees ($27.89m) to expand its chain of Ebony retail stores across India during the next two years.

Executive director of Ebony, BS Narula, announced that the investment plan would see the chain increasing to 20 stores nationwide in a two phase development plan.

The first phase would see eight stores opening within the first year, in areas such as Chennai, which is due to be open within the next three months.

The DS Group is planning to fund the investment through internal revenues but will look to list shares during 2002 if there is a significant valuation on offer. Narula also stated that the group would consider acquisition enquiries if it would expand the business further.