Private Equity Floods into Southeast Asia (Nikkei Asian Review)

Global private equity funds are spending more in Asia – and not just in the obvious markets of China and India. Southeast Asia has become a powerful new magnet, with total private equity investment there surging to $23.5 billion in 2017. The region may not have as many tech unicorns as China and India, but Western funds – famous for their appetite for risk and having more money than they can spend – are nevertheless finding opportunities there. That is particularly true of Vietnam, where the economy is growing and the government is privatizing state enterprises.

In this issue of the Nikkei Asian Review, we zoom in on some of the deals that are happening in Southeast Asia. It seems like all the big names are there — from the Blackstone group and Warburg Pincus to KKR and TPG. And they are shaking things up. Take, for example, TPG’s 2015 purchase of a 50% stake in Myanmar Distillery. The move not only paid rich dividends – TPG sold the stake to Thai Beverage last year for an estimated $490 million, more than tripling its investment in just two years – but it also triggered a realignment of the region’s beer and spirits industries.

Our report also takes a look at local private equity funds, such as Mekong Capital, which has focused on Vietnam since its incorporation in 2001. These players are small but possess a keen insight into the region. READ MORE

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