While interests in China and India private equity markets remain strong, ASEAN is emerging as an attractive private equity investment destination within Asia for investors and fund managers alike.
There are 56 ASEAN-focused private equity funds currently in market (excluding real asset-focused funds); these vehicles solely focus on ASEAN or include the region within the remit of their investment mandate. ASEAN-focused funds are seeking $23.7bn in aggregate capital. Twenty-two of these funds have successfully raised an aggregate $1.1bn in capital commitments via at least one interim close in their fundraising campaign. A large proportion of ASEAN-focused private equity funds in market are managed by Singapore-based GPs (33%) and Hong Kong-based GPs (16%). The remaining fund managers raising ASEAN-focused funds are headquartered in the UK, the US, China and other Asia-Pacific countries.
The ASEAN private equity market is still relatively young. As such, growth and venture capital funds remain the most preferred fund type to gain access to the region. Growth funds constitute more than half (53%) of the ASEAN-focused vehicles currently in market, while venture capital funds, including both generalist and stage-specific funds, make up a quarter of private equity funds that are currently fund raising. Other fund types that are currently on the road seeking investments in the ASEAN region include buyout, mezzanine, special situations, and balanced funds.
Country-specific funds and regional funds make up 34% of the ASEAN-focused funds that are currently on the road and the remaining 66% are pan-Asia and global funds that have a specific allocation to the ASEAN region. Indonesia is the most preferred location among private equity funds currently in market that are looking to invest in ASEAN; 39% of ASEAN-focused funds have a target allocation to the country. Thirty-four percent of ASEAN-focused funds on the road will invest in Singapore, making the country the next most favored investment destination. A similar proportion of vehicles specifically target Vietnam (28%) and Thailand (27%) as part of their investment mandate.