CDC commits $20m to Lombard Asia Fund III

CDC Group, the UK government-backed fund of funds, has made a $20 million commitment to Lombard Asia III, an expansion capital fund that will focus on South Asia and Greater China.

CDC Group, the UK government’s emerging market fund of funds has committed $20 million toward Lombard Asia III, a fund which has already drawn support from Calpers, Asian Development Bank and two Malaysian pension funds at its first close last year.

The fund has raised about $200 million so far to provide expansion capital to companies in Southeast Asia and Greater China, according to a statement from CDC. Last February, when the fund had held its first close on $153.5 million, the geographical focus did not include Greater China, IFC said on its website. The fund has a target of $300 million to $500 million.

Lombard’s southeast Asian investment team is led by Bangkok-based Pote Videt, a managing director, formerly a banker with Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse First Boston. Thomas Smith, a managing director of Lombard who shuttles between Bangkok and San Francisco, is banking on strong intra-Asia trade to benefit emerging Asian markets.

Richard Laing, chief executive of CDC said: “Solid economic and corporate earnings growth and the shortage of providers of risk capital are creating some very attractive investment opportunities, especially in markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia.”

CDC is also an investor with Malaysia-based Navis Capital Partners which recently held a first close on a Southeast Asian fund that also covers India and Australia.