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Preqin Quarterly Update: Private Equity & Venture Capital, Q3 2016 Oct 2016
Private equity & venture capital dry powder continues to reach record levels, with an aggregate $839 in available capital as of the end of Q3 2016. Portfolio company valuations have also increased, with the average buyout deal size standing at $405mn this quarter. 2015 witnessed record levels of capital distributions ($443bn), marking the fifth consecutive year during which they outstripped capital calls. The majority of institutional investors active in private equity stated that their confidence in the asset class remains strong; buyout remains the most sought-after fund type, with 70% of investor searches in Q3 2016 including this strategy.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Real Estate, Q3 2016 Oct 2016
Thirty-one private real estate funds reached a final close in Q3 2016, collectively raising $18.5bn – a slowdown compared with Q2. However, the 808 completed PERE deals resulted in the second highest quarter for deal activity since the beginning of 2014. In terms of performance, closed-end private real estate funds continue to perform strongly for investors, as Q3 marks an increase in NAV for 23 consecutive quarters. In the wake of the Brexit vote in the UK, institutional investors are increasingly looking to Europe, which has overtaken North America in terms of investors’ preferences compared with Q2.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Private Debt, Q3 2016 Oct 2016
Private debt fundraising was substantially down in Q3 compared with one year ago, with 24 private debt funds securing $11bn globally. North America remained the most prevalent region, with private debt funds focused on the region securing $8.6bn. Although two distressed debt funds reached a final close in the quarter, the strategy surpassed all others in terms of aggregate value – collectively, the two funds secured $4.2bn in commitments. Twelve mezzanine vehicles and five direct lending funds also reached a final close in Q3 with $3.9bn and $2.5bn respectively. The direct lending segment could continue to see opportunity in a questionable credit environment globally.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Hedge Funds, Q3 2016 Oct 2016
Amid a turbulent political backdrop, which has seen an increase in the proportion of new hedge funds launched in North America at the expense of Europe, the third quarter of 2016 marked seven consecutive months of positive returns for the overall hedge fund industry, which may go some way towards alleviating investors' concerns over fees and performance. Despite notable high-profile withdrawals from the asset class, there are some large investors planning to increase their allocation to hedge funds over the longer term. There were 118 hedge funds launched in Q3, but the prevalence of equity strategies funds is in steady decline as fund managers continue to lose confidence in the strategy.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Infrastructure, Q3 2016 Oct 2016
Infrastructure fundraising in Q3 was particularly strong, reaching $23bn – a level last seen in Q4 2013. Demand for the asset class continues to be strong as a result of the risk-adjusted returns it can provide, as well as offering less volatility. However, the number and estimated aggregate deal value of infrastructure transactions fell for a second consecutive quarter, the lowest since Q3 2012. Institutional investors in the asset class maintain a strong preference for domestic investment opportunities, although with Brexit uncertainty, Europe may be viewed with caution: 18% of North America-based investors are targeting Europe, compared with 30% in Q2.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Natural Resources, Q3 2016 Oct 2016
Q3 saw a marked uptick for unlisted natural resources fundraising, with 15 funds reaching a final close securing a combined $25bn in investor commitments. However, there is a divergence in where the commitments are flowing as half of funds closed in 2016 failed to reach their initial target. Energy-focused funds continue to dominate the industry, with little activity in other sectors. A protracted period of losses and uncertainty for the mining industry has seen interest withdraw, while agriculture has seen very few funds raised despite being the second largest sector in natural resources. In line with struggling commodity prices, the performance of the asset class continued to fall into the tail end of 2015. 
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Private Equity, Q2 2016 Jul 2016
Following reduced activity in Q1 2016, the second quarter of 2016 demonstrated signs of recovery, with $101bn in aggregate capital secured by only 180 funds reaching a final close. In addition, dry powder levels have continued to rise, standing at $818bn as of June 2016. Deal activity has recovered from the dip in Q1, allowing fund managers to put some of their new capital to work. Aggregate buyout deal value reached $89bn, while venture capital deal value hit $40bn – the second highest quarterly aggregate deal value on record. Over the next 12 months, 16% plan to make substantial investments of more than $300mn.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Real Estate, Q2 2016 Jul 2016
Although fewer funds closed in Q2 than Q1, the trend of capital concentration in private real estate asset class has continued, with fierce competition for investor capital and more funds currently in market targeting greater amounts of capital than seen in recent years. Performance also remained strong, resulting in positive average changes in NAV for 22 consecutive quarters. More investors are now seeking opportunities beyond North America in the next 12 months, particularly Europe, although over half of investors in response to a recent Preqin survey on Brexit stated that they would invest less in the UK market over the next 12 months. Q2 has also seen an increase in deals on mixed-use assets, which accounted for 27% of all transactions.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Infrastructure, Q2 2016 Jul 2016
The second quarter of 2016 saw eight unlisted infrastructure funds close, securing an aggregate $4.2bn. Despite this challenging period of fundraising, 58% of investors look set to commit more than $100mn to infrastructure in the next 12 months in comparison with the previous year. H1 2016 saw 564 deals completed for an estimated $258bn, an increase on H1 2015. Institutional investors in infrastructure will predominantly target domestic investments over the next 12 months.
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Preqin Quarterly Update: Natural Resources, Q2 2016 Jul 2016
Fundraising was particularly challenging in the second quarter of 2016, with half of funds closed in H1 2016 failing to meet their initial target sizes and securing less than half the amount of capital raised in Q1. North America remains the most targeted region for natural resources investment and fundraising activity. Unstable commodity prices continue to affect the performance of the asset class, with the PrEQIn Natural Resources Index falling to 151.6 at the end of September 2015. Despite this volatility, investor appetite appears to remain strong and investors can see the long-term benefits of the asset class. 
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