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Equity fund extends deadline

PRIVATE equity fund Emerging Markets Investments has extended the fundraising period for its flagship Cambodia-Laos fund in a bid to reach its US$20 million target, according to managing director Joshua Morris.

The EMI fund, now at $10.1 million, was meant to have closed to new investors at the end of December but will remain open another six months to give some time to complete their due diligence, Morris said.

“We’ve been engaged with a number of potential investors in the last three to four months and we want to give them the chance to conclude their evaluation of the fund,” he said.

The fund is still targeted at $20m ... hopefully with the extended fundraising period we will get those investors on board

“The fund is still targeted at $20 million … and hopefully with the extended fundraising period we will be able to get those investors on board.”
The fund opened a year ago to institutional investors with the aim of putting money into the Cambodian and Laotian small to medium enterprise market. Morris said the prospective investors had not voiced any particular reasons for not yet investing.

“From our perspective they haven’t raised any specific concerns. They have questions around things like the judiciary, market opportunities and the business environment – the usual concerns when it comes to evaluating a country like Cambodia,” he said. “I think it just takes time to go through their own internal evaluation process.”

Morris declined to comment on whether the fund has invested in any enterprises to date, saying it was bound by European and United States rules – the markets where it was fundraising – that prevented it from marketing during the fundraising period.Discussing such activities may be construed as marketing, he said.

A number of funds have begun to operate in the Kingdom in recent years, though some have also seen plans revised.

Leopard Capital announced in August it is raising capital for a second fund, aiming for $50 million. The second fund will consider investments in Laos, and aims to have a stronger development mandate, Leopard’s chief investment officer Scott Lewis has said.

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