Rotor blades of wind turbines rotate in the mudflats in Yancheng city, Jiangsu province, China, November 18, 2023.

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Leading global asset managers including Blackrock are among investors in an Asia-focused infrastructure private equity fund that has raised $800 million, underscoring growing interest in the asset class amid market volatility.

Seraya Partners Fund I closed above its $750 million target, according to a statement from its Singapore-based managers Seraya Partners on Tuesday.

The fund targets mid-market investments aimed at supporting the energy transition and digital infrastructure development in the Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia markets.

“Infrastructure remains an attractive asset class,” said James Chern, chief investment officer and managing partner at Seraya Partners.

“Most major players have not yet focused on capital deployment in the mid-market infrastructure segment in Asia. Mid-market valuations are typically 30% lower than large cap deals in Asia, the US and Europe in general.”

Investor interest in this asset class has increased in recent years, largely driven by a desire for stable returns at a time of high inflation and increased volatility in public markets.

KKR reportedly raised nearly $6 billion for its second Asia Pacific infrastructure fund in October last year, closing it seven months after its launch.

Seraya Partners counts China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and pension fund Alberta Investment Management among its major investors, as well as sovereign wealth funds and family offices from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

The Asia-managed fund says it has already deployed half of the money raised across three platforms.

The AIIB estimates that investments of $1.7 trillion will need to be made annually by 2030 to meet current sustainable infrastructure needs.

“Asia’s rapidly growing cities, worsening climate change and aging infrastructure have created an urgent need to close the region’s burgeoning trillion-dollar infrastructure gap,” said Chern, who formerly worked at Morgan Stanley.

“Energy transition and digital infrastructure will be the two engines to close this gap and take us to net zero targets,” he said.

Source : www.cnbc.com

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