Asia watch, Nov. 27, 2006

China-based Jade launches FoF aimed at Mideast LPs

Jade Alternative Investment Advisors

this month launched a fund-raising campaign for Jade China Value Partners, a private equity fund-of-funds with a $150 million target.

Jade will invest in China-based PE firms that focus on telecommunications, construction equipment and consumer products. The fund has already committed an unknown amount to CDH Investments.

The FoF expects to finish raising its maiden fund by early next year thanks in large measure to Mideast LPs, who are apparently keen to diversify their oil rich holdings away from the West. Jade is sponsored by the Kuwait China Investment Co,, a subsidiary of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). Separately, KIA invested $720 million in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in September.

“Gulf interest towards Asia is growing by the day, partly due to deepening political factors and commercial relationships between the regions in the wake of 9/11 and the recent war in Iraq,” said Ludvig Nilsson, director and managing partner of Jade.

Jade announced in a prepared release that it plans to open offices in the Middle East and Europe in 2007, in addition to its current offices in Shanghai and Beijing.

Sumitomo Trust to expand in Chin


Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Japan’s fifth-largest bank by assets, plans to increase lending, investment and alliances in China, according to Hideo Amemiya, an executive who oversees the bank’s international strategy.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Amemiya said that Sumitomo Trust, which specializes in managing pension funds and property assets, is seeking to increase its investment in China buyout funds. Amemiya confirmed that the bank has invested an unknown amount in CITIC Capital China Partners, which raised $220 million last month. It was the bank’s first such investment in China.

Sumitomo is also looking at other funds run by local managers based in China and Hong Kong, including CDH Investments, ACTIS and Capital Today, he said.

Cleantech deals rise in China

The information technology sector was the most popular industry for China’s venture capital activities in the third quarter, but cleantech deals are gaining in focus.

VCs invested $221.8 million in 34 IT companies in China in the third quarter, according to a report by Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureOne, but three energy deals raised $8 million in the same three-month period, compared to none a year earlier.

Year-to-date, VCs have invested in six cleantech deals in China, up from one for all of last year.

The quarterly study also reported that venture capitalists invested more than $360 million in 54 companies in mainland China during the third quarter, compared to $244 million in 38 deals in the same period a year ago.

The report said that 2006 is on pace to surpass last year’s total of 151 companies raising $1.2 billion.

Acer founder launches new VC fund

Stan Shih

, founder of the Acer Group, announced this month he is raising a fund aimed at helping Taiwanese companies develop their products for the international market. Shih said Branding Taiwan Venture Capital, based in Taipei, has a target of about $61 million.

He said that about half the capital has already been raised from co-founders, including Shih’s iD Soft Capital Group (which undertook a stake of 10%), the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (15%) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (30%).

Search company raises $25M from Highland


, a Beijing-based provider of search solutions for Internet and mobile platforms, has raised $25 million in Series B funding.

Highland Capital Partners led the deal, and was joined by Redpoint Ventures and return backers Sequoia Capital China, CDH Investments, Matrix Partners and IDG Venture Capital.

Norwest backs Mobile2win


, a China-based provider of mobile value-added services, has raised about $15 million in venture funding from Norwest Venture Partners and Nexus India Capital.

Korea hands down indictments

South Korean prosecutors have indicted Lone Star Funds and Korea Exchange Bank, for stock-price manipulation related to Lone Star’s 2003 acquisition of a controlling stake in the Korean lender. —PE Week staff