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3Q analysis: Guarded reengagement

Fundraising focus shifts to China venture, but it’s the same polarization story; upturn in trade and secondary sales suggests the COVID-19 freeze is thawing; healthcare retains its investment appeal

The steady but thoroughly imbalanced revival in Asia PE fundraising continues. The second quarter total was revised upwards from $24 billion to $39 billion, largely reflecting a first close of around $10 billion on KKR’s fourth pan-Asian fund, which was confirmed after the fact. Previous calculations had two-thirds of every dollar raised going into three funds. Including KKR’s effort doesn’t change this ratio, but it underlines how the already evident flight to quality has intensified.

In the third quarter of 2020, we saw more of the same. Approximately $27.2 billion was committed to Asia-based managers – a substantial improvement on the first quarter, but the 70 incremental and final closes represent a 17-year low. This provisional total is likely to rise as AVCJ Research uncovers further fundraising activity, but not enough to topple the trend of LPs favoring the few.

While KKR turned out to be the big beast of the second quarter, China’s National Green Development Fund takes that honor in the third. The central government guidance fund, which will back national strategy programs such as the green development of the Yangtze Delta region, cruised to a first close of RMB88 billion ($12.6 billion) with support from the country’s three largest state-owned banks, the Ministry of Finance, and a string of provincial and municipal governments.

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