Country Report Cambodia February 2010

Economic performance: A private-equity fund concludes its fundraising

A private-equity fund, Leopard Capital, announced at the end of 2009 that it had closed its first multi-sector investment fund focused on Cambodia after raising US$34.1m in capital. According to Leopard's newsletter, it has committed US$15.8m to five projects, including a rice producer, Cambodia Plantations, a beer producer, Kingdom Breweries, a power-transmission company, Greenside Holdings, and a residential property developer, Angkor Residences, which has upmarket apartments in the country's main tourist centre, Siem Reap. The company also provided US$5m in a loan to finance one of Cambodia's largest business conglomerates, Royal Group, in its acquisition in November of its international partner's 61.5% stake in CamGSM, the owner of the country's largest mobile-phone network, Mobitel. The acquisition was one of the largest ever in Cambodia. Leopard said that the loan would be repaid when Royal Group resold a controlling stake to "a strategic foreign investor". It also said that it was considering launching a second Cambodia fund in 2010. Set up in Cambodia in November 2008, Leopard is one of several funds that have struggled to raise capital. It had originally planned to create a fund of US$100m by March 2009. A Singapore-based private-equity firm, Frontier Investment and Development Partners, and another international fund, Cambodia Emerald, have also had to scale down their plans in the country.

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