BoCom plans $500M China PE fund

BoCom International, an investment arm of Bank of Communications, China’s No.5 lender, said last week that it aims to raise $250 million to $500 million for a private equity fund focused on investments in China.

The offshore fund, the first private equity fund for BoCom, would focus on China’s consumer industries, high-speed rail systems, health care, clean energy and infrastructure companies, said Simon Hua, head of private equity at BoCom.

About 10% to 20% of the fund would be raised from its parent bank. U.S. and European investors were expected to contribute about one-third, with the balance from Asia, he said.

The fund would invest in companies with IPO potential and would be listed in Hong Kong in 12 to 24 months, Hua said.

He added: “We see a lot of state-owned entities restructuring; there are opportunities there. As a central government-owned bank in China, we are actually well positioned for that kind of restructuring.”

Chinese investment banks have continued to grow despite the global financial crisis. In 2009, they accounted for about 18% of Hong Kong’s underwriting market and the share is expected to rise to between 20% and 30% percent this year. —Clare Jim, Reuters