MAS to launch $6.9b fund to capture private equity, Latest Business News - The New Paper

MAS to launch $6.9b fund to capture private equity

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MAS to allocate $6.9 billion for private enterprises, infrastructure investments

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will place US$5 billion (S$6.9 billion) with fund managers who invest in private enterprises and infrastructure projects.

The move announced yesterday is aimed at capturing some of the value that is increasingly being generated by companies operating in the private sphere as opposed to publicly listed firms.

The funds will be placed with managers who commit to bolstering their presence here or who undertake to establish a significant local footprint.

MAS director Peter Ong told the Singapore FinTech Festival yesterday that the programme will build on the success of an existing MAS one centred on public markets.

Mr Ong, who is also Enterprise Singapore chairman, said the public markets initiative "has anchored global asset managers in Singapore and catalysed the growth of our asset management industry".

The MAS can invest in different types of private equity and infrastructure funds as long as they meet its investment and developmental objectives. Fund managers will retain full discretion of all investment decisions.

The new programme's focus on private markets reflects the striking growth in this sector, fuelled in part by more companies preferring to go it alone rather than listing on share markets.

Mr Ong cited a recent private equity report by consultants Bain & Co on the Asia-Pacific region, which noted that assets managed by around 220 private equity and venture capital managers based in Singapore have grown at a compound annual rate of 28 per cent to reach $190 billion over the past five years.

About 85 per cent of their investments are in Asia.

Mr Ong said: "(The trend) suggests investors' increased awareness of Asean's strong... potential. Singapore stands to ride the momentum of these developments in the private markets space." - THE STRAITS TIMES