Lloyd George Management launches Myanmar-focussed fund
24 October 2012
News, Asia, Myanmar
By Toby Garrod
Lloyd George Management has launched a Myanmar-focussed fund, the Irrawaddy Growth Fund, in order to raise capital for investment in the country’s nascent commercial sector. The firm is taking a long-term view on the economy following recent political shifts that look set to put the country on the fast-track to growth.
The fund has a target size of US$150 million, and a ten-year term structure, extendable by two years. It will be 60% weighted toward growth equity and 40% banking and insurance, while being 75% weighted toward Myanmar and 25% the rest of Southeast Asia.
The enormous potential for development in this frontier market means there’s much to do.
“The establishment of a banking sector in Myanmar is critical, for instance” says Robert Lloyd George, the firm’s investment chairman. “The country’s commercial sector will find it difficult to flourish without the right institutions to lend money and offer advice.”
Though Myanmar’s central bank is rapidly modernising, with the help of the International Monetary Fund, a shortage of trained staff there is posing a challenge to development.
Mr. Lloyd George recognises the challenges to development on a variety of levels.
“The firm will work patiently with institutions at all levels to build a commercial sector there from the ground up,” he says. “With this we will spend the first few years operating in the private equity sphere, with a view to evolving the business environment on a more substantial level.”
While a number of Myanmar-focussed funds are currently under discussion across various firms, the Lloyd George fund is the only major foreign fund that is actually up and running, he notes.
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