Funds & Investors – November 2008

JPMorgan doubles PE investments in India * GIC turns to private equity

JPMorgan doubles PE investments in India
US bank JPMorgan reportedly plans to increase its private equity investments in India from $500 million to $1billion.

JPMorgan’s private equity division’s investments in India include L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, which takes on public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects; Apollo Hospitals, among the largest healthcare companies in Asia; and Coffee Day, a coffee conglomerate involved in coffee procurement, processing and retailing.

The bank also plans to spend around $500 million in building its corporate finance and advisory operations in the country, JPMorgan chief executive for India, Kalapana Morparia, told Bloomberg.

Last month, JPMorgan Asset Management’s Asian Infrastructure & Related Resources Opportunity Fund held a first close on $500 million, a market source told PrivateEquityOnline. That fund will invest in China, India and other Southern Asian countries.

The firm also has an India Infrastructure Fund which was launched last year and is targeting $2 billion, according to a white paper on Asia’s private equity market published by Probitas Partners.

GIC turns to private equity
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, estimated to have assets of more than $300 billion, is shifting its sights to emerging markets and private equity. This comes after incurring large losses on the stakes it purchased in UBS and Citi.

In September, the firm said at a conference that it is looking for more secure longer-term investment performance after observing the public market woes tied to the Asian financial crisis, the dotcom slump and the contracting global credit markets of past years. It has also stepped up the pace of its real estate and private equity investments.

UBS shares have plunged 53 percent since GIC’s 11 billion Swiss francs ($10.1 billion) investment in December 2007, and Citi’s shares have fallen 26 percent since the fund made its almost $7 billion investment in January.