Axiom closes third Asia fund

Axiom Asia Capital Management, the private equity firm founded by former executives of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, has closed its third Asia fund at $1.15 billion, writes Reuters. About half the firm’s investments are made in Greater China with India following as the next biggest market for Axiom, writes Reuters.

Reuters – China remains a key focus for Axiom Asia Capital Management, a private equity firm founded by former executives of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC GIC.UL, which said on Monday it had closed its third Asia fund at $1.15 billion.

“Geographically we tend to do about half our investments in Greater China,” Chihtsung Lam, a managing partner at Axiom and one of its three co-founders, told Reuters.

India is the next biggest market for Axiom, he said.

Lam, together with managing partners Yewhong Goh and Edmond Ng, are former executives of GIC Special Investments, the private equity arm of GIC, and co-founded Axiom in 2006.

The firm has management buyout, growth capital and venture capital funds, and its investments are mostly in the $30-60 million range, though it will invest up to $100 million.

Executives at the firm told Reuters they saw China continuing as largely a growth capital market, and pointed to the retail sector as an area where money could be put to work earlier in a company’s development.

“The retail space is actually not well developed in emerging markets in Asia, except the first tier cities in countries like China and India,” said Chris Loh, a partner at the firm.

Loh said while people in second and third-tier cities were increasingly affluent, the goods they wanted to buy were not always easily available.

“E-commerce has become a major trend in recent years both in China and in India, and start-ups have emerged to become the Amazon.coms of China and India, said Loh.

“So we are seeing venture capitalists starting up in that space in both these countries. It is a very promising trend.”

Axiom is mainly a primary fund of funds, which does co-investments and secondary private equity deals.

Its third fund, Axiom Asia Private Capital Fund III L.P., received $1.4 billion in commitments and was capped at $1.15 billion, the firm said.

(Editing by Dan Lalor)