In private equity, China no longer just emerging

Updated: 2011-08-26 17:32

(Wall Street Journal)

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"I no longer refer to China as an emerging market," Carlyle Group co-founder Bill Conway declared at an emerging-markets conference in May. "China's emerged."

Conway's pronouncement received resounding affirmation Thursday from the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, which has released data for the first half of 2011.

China-dedicated fund-raising came in at over $10 billion – three times its total for 1H 2010 – and accounted for 45% of all emerging markets fund-raising, which totaled $22.6 billion in the first half. By contrast, last year emerging markets funds gathered $23.5 billion – for both halves.

Brazil and India vehicles also saw big jumps over last year's first half, accounting for $3 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively. In the first part of 2010, those numbers were $693 million and $1.6 billion.

The large increase in Asia fund-raising was driven largely by local investors getting into the private equity game, according to Rob Petty, a managing partner at Asia investor Clearwater Capital Partners. And the steady of stream of yuan-denominated funds that have gone to market in the last year bodes well for investment performance. "Having more influential local players investing domestically will benefit the entire private equity community investing in the EM Asia region," he wrote in an email.