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4 Jun 2021
A shift of spotlight from the West to Southeast Asia, Mid-market in specific
Caelus Hong Kong Office

Even with the pandemic shock to the global economy, Southeast Asia is increasingly on the radar of international private investors. According to the 2021 Preqin Global Private Equity & Venture Capital Report, 50% of fund managers surveyed feel Southeast Asia presents the best opportunities for 2021 and to account for a greater proportion of their assets under management (AUM) over the next five years, while 37% of private equity investors take the same stand.
The large and rapidly growing middle class, urbanization, productivity improvements, technological innovation and leadership were quoted to be the pull factors on Asia-Pacific’s private equity investment. Along with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and EU-China investment agreement, and the IMF forecasting a 6.9% increase in GDP in Asia in 2021, Preqin forecasts Asia-Pacific to drive 28.2% CAGR growth in overall private equity AUM over the next five years, taking AUM from $1.26tn in 2020 to $4.36tn in 2025.

Asia-Pacific as Private Equity’s Promised Land
PEVC firms and investors are eager for a piece of SEA’s rapidly growing economy. Although the COVID-19 pandemic muted the venture capital activities in Asia in the first half of 2020, the aggregate venture capital deal value has done even better than the pre-pandemic levels. At $48bn, the deal value transacted in the first quarter of 2021 is double the quarterly average for 2019.
Meanwhile, mid-market private equity has grown in popularity as investors eye for high-growth companies that drive economies. The lower entry multiples also appeal to the investors when compared to investing for larger deals, makes the mid-market segment highly active with strong deal flow.

The aggregate Southeast Asian economy is more than $3tn, having quadrupled in size since 2000 and more than doubled since 2010. But Investors need to recognize that Southeast Asia is not a single homogeneous market; each country is at a different stage of economic development, with different levels of maturity in terms of consumer goods and services penetration. It requires strong deal-sourcing networks, relationships with trusted advisors and familiarity with local culture, law, and politics – all these require years to build.

Caelus join hands with SME100®Awards to nurture fast-moving SMEs in Southeast Asia
As a boutique asset manager dedicated to offering unique and rare investment opportunities, we consistently engage ourselves with the top-notch innovative enterprises in the Southeast Asia market. With our recent sponsorship in the SME100®Awards, we are excited to see the fast-moving small-to-medium enterprises from various industries. We welcome all like-minded entrepreneurs to explore business collaborations with us and together achieving new avenues of growth where the sky is the limit. Watch the highlight of the awards ceremony at https://vimeo.com/559837155 or check out more of SME100®Awards at https://sme100.asia/home.php
The commentary, news, research, analysis, prices and other information published in this column can only be viewed as general market information, which is for reference only and does not constitute investment advice. Caelus Asset Management Limited is not responsible for errors, inaccuracies or omissions in the information, and does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, diagrams, connections or other items contained therein. The company shall not be liable for any special, indirect, joint or consequential damages caused by the materials, including but not limited to loss, loss of income or loss of profit.