NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR (2 January 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement on 21 December 2018 to provide a $10 million equity investment to Ascent Myanmar Growth Fund I LP (AMGF), a Myanmar-focused private equity fund, to provide much-needed capital investment for the growth and expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Southeast Asian country.
“Local companies, particularly SMEs that are led by women, have the potential to make a significant contribution to inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Myanmar,” said Director of the Investment Funds and Special Initiatives Division at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Ms. Janette Hall. “ADB’s investment in AMGF will provide these companies with the assistance and capital they need to expand, create jobs, and boost Myanmar’s economy.”
AMGF, managed by Ascent Capital Partners Pte Ltd (Ascent Capital), a Singapore registered fund manager, will focus on middle-market companies and SMEs that operate in the consumer, education, financial services, health care, as well as technology, media, and telecommunications sectors.
Ascent Capital is founded by two partners, Mr. Lim Chong Chong and Mr. Pneh Tee Keong, both with decades of collective experience in private equity, corporate finance, consulting, and senior corporate executive positions in Myanmar, People’s Republic of China, Singapore, and Malaysia.
“We are delighted with ADB’s investment in AMGF. Having them on board will be critical to achieve our goal of supporting Myanmar companies’ long-term sustainable growth,” said Mr. Lim. “Other than growth capital, Ascent Capital will also add value to our portfolio companies by contributing management know-how and enabling them to leverage on our extensive global network.”
Apart from helping to deepen capital markets in Myanmar and boost growth prospects, ADB’s assistance will involve gender equality components by ensuring support for women entrepreneurs.
ADB’s investment in AMGF is expected to encourage international investment and the introduction of governance best practices in the fund’s investee companies, which could potentially scale-up small and medium-sized local businesses. The investment may also catalyze private sector investment in Myanmar by demonstrating the viability of private equity as a financing option in the country.
AMGF, a private equity fund with a target capitalization of $100 million, intends to make 10 to 15 investments of $5 million to $10 million each in these fast-growing companies operating in Myanmar.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.