CIMB Standard rebrands as CapAsia

The private equity infrastructure manager focused on Central and Southeast Asia will also begin fundraising for its second Southeast Asia-focused fund in Q3.

Malaysian financial services group CIMB and Johannesburg-headquartered Standard Bank have rebranded their private equity infrastructure fund management company CIMB Standard Strategic Asset Advisors as Capital Advisors Partners Asia or CapAsia.
The rebranding exercise does not bring about any change in the fund management company, which will continue to remain a 60:40 joint venture between CIMB and Standard Bank. 
The new brand name is part of the company’s strategy to enhance its profile as a private equity manager focused on investments in Asian infrastructure projects. The firm, which was established in March 2006, currently manages $460 million across three funds focused on investing in infrastructure in Southeast and Central Asia and expects its assets under management to double within two years, Johan Bastin, CEO of CapAsia, told PEI Asia.
CapAsia will also start fundraising for Southeast Asia Strategic Assets Fund II in the third quarter of 2010, Bastin said. The firm is currently in the pre-marketing phase for the fund and fundraising has not begun yet. CapAsia will target commitments of $300 million for the fund, which will also be focused on investing in various segments of the infrastructure sector in Southeast Asia.
The firm closed its maiden fund, Southeast Asia Strategic Assets Fund (SEASAF), on $147 million in 2006. That fund is focused on energy, infrastructure and natural resources in Southeast Asia. Bastin said the firm is well on its way to making net returns in its high teens from that fund. The fund has deployed more than 70 percent of its capital across seven investments and is accelerating the pace of its investments, he told PEI Asia. It will make another two to three investments from the fund.
In September 2009, the firm acquired Babcock & Brown’s interest in Babcock & Brown Asia Infrastructure Fund (BBAIF) for an undisclosed stake. That investment was made from SEASAF I. BBAIF is an infrastructure fund set up in 2007 and co-sponsored by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Babcock & Brown to focus on infrastructure investment opportunities in Asia, primarily in China, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. 
CapAsia also manages the Islamic Infrastructure Fund, which has the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank as sponsor investors and is targeting a $500 million final close. That fund has raised $262 million thus far and is expected to see a final close in January 2011, Bastin said. 
The firm currently has 20 investment professionals across offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok. It will also be setting up a new office – likely in Central Asia – for its activities in Central Asia and Pakistan, Bastin said.
CapAsia, which invests in emerging Asian economies other than and India, makes mid-cap investments in infrastructure companies and projects.
It is focused on investments in power, toll roads and education. Bastin said CapAsia is also focusing a lot on renewable energy and is interested in investing in telecom infrastructure and healthcare as well. The increasing size of the middle class and the consequent demand for better healthcare services in the markets it is focused on make healthcare a strong segment of the market, he added.