Dragon Capital Raises Indochina PE Fund

Dragon Capital is raising a new private-equity fund to invest in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, chief executive Dominic Scriven said on Wednesday, writes Reuters. The new product, the Indochina Opportunities Fund, is due to have an initial close with $100-150 million in capital. It will be capped at a maximum of $250 million, Reuters reports.

(Reuters) – Dragon Capital is raising a new private-equity fund to invest in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Chief Executive Dominic Scriven said on Wednesday.

The new product, the Indochina Opportunities Fund, is due to have an initial close with $100-150 million in capital. It will be capped at a maximum of $250 million.

“We are in the process of trying to raise it at the moment,” Scriven said, adding that he expected the first close the middle of next year.

The fund had attracted investments from a handful of investors, Scriven said.

“The typical areas where we’re getting some traction is in the development finance of institutions, with corporate strategics in Asia, and with family offices,” he said.

Phnom Penh-based Frontier Investment & Development Partners has said it signed a joint venture agreement earlier this year to develop the Indochina Opportunities Fund as a joint venture with Dragon Capital.

Ho Chi Minh-based Scriven set up Dragon Capital in 1994. It managed $1.2 billion in assets as of the end of last year, the company said, the bulk in Vietnam.

Scriven noted that Cambodia and Laos were much smaller markets, but the new fund would pursue agribusiness investments there.

The company’s private-equity team In Vietnam is looking to take stakes in private companies or in state-owned companies that are privatising. It will also seek to provide growth capital for businesses.

Vietnam’s main stock index has fallen 21 percent this year as the country battles high inflation. November’s consumer price index was up 20 percent compared with a year earlier .

The frontier market has, however, been drawing interest from major overseas private equity companies.

In April, KKR & Co LP agreed to pay $159 million for 10 percent of food producer Masan Consumer Corp, in the largest private equity deal in Vietnam to date.

At the start of this year, U.S.-based Mount Kellett Capital Management invested $100 million in mining company Masan Resources [ID: nL3E7CO0AF]. Both those target companies are subsidiaries of the Masan Group. (Reporting by Alex Frew McMillan and Stephen Aldred; Editing by Chris Lewis)