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Private Equity Opportunities in Southeast Asia Draw Experts to OPIC Conference

April 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Southeast Asia’s exceptional prospects for private equity investment have drawn industry leaders – including founders of three leading private equity firms – to speak at an international investment conference sponsored by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.

Panelists for the OPIC conference’s private equity session include Robert Petty, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Clearwater Capital Partners; Douglas Clayton, Founder of Leopard Capital in 2007, which manages private equity funds in Asia’s frontier markets; and Mumtaz Khan, Founder and CEO of Middle East & Asia Capital Partners Pte Ltd, a private equity platform connecting the Middle East and Asia.

The other panelists are OPIC Board member Michael Warren, a Principal and Managing Board member of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm; and S. Jane Brett, an investment specialist in the Asian Development Bank’s Capital Markets and Financial Sectors division, which lends to and invests in financial institutions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Together, the panelists will outline strategies for investors to tap into a regional private equity market that is growing quickly:

  • Saratoga Capital reports that the region’s economies grew by 7.1 percent in 2010 and are expected to grow by 5 percent in 2011 and 2012. In comparison, the world economy is only expected to grow by 3.3 percent and 3.7 percent in the same period.
  • Cliffwater LLC reports that during the first six months of 2010, private equity funds in Asia raised over $15 billion of capital, representing an increase of 49 percent compared to the same period in 2009. Private equity investments in Asia have outperformed those in the U.S. and Europe over the last decade, driven by strong economic growth, developing capital markets, and financial reforms.
  • Navis Capital reports that investments which have poured into Asia have yet to find their way into Southeast Asia, making for inexpensive asset valuations and little competition for deals in the region. “At the moment, I like Southeast Asia more than anywhere,” Navis managing partner Nicholas Bloy told Reuters last October. “It’s because the liquidity that is coming to Asia has not yet really filtered into Southeast Asia, so there’s a bit of a vacuum. Where there’s a vacuum, there’s an opportunity to buy companies inexpensively.”

President Barack Obama announced the OPIC conference, Access to Opportunity in Southeast Asia, during his November 2010 trip to Indonesia, stating it would “highlight new opportunities for partnership here and across the region.” The conference will be held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, from May 3 to 5, 2011.

The online registration form for the conference may be found at

Following the model of OPIC’s six previous annual international conferences, the Indonesia conference will connect U.S. and regional investors, financial institutions, private equity managers, local partners, and government officials. Conference sessions will focus on access to investment and trade finance, private equity, infrastructure, tourism and entrepreneurship.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the renewable energy and clean technology sectors. 

Participants are expected to include American businesses of all sizes seeking private equity, debt financing or partners for expansion into Southeast Asia; Southeast Asian companies seeking U.S. partners or capital; and U.S. and Southeast Asian financial institutions offering investment and trade finance to prospective investors.