So far, 2017 has been a relatively unremarkable year for buyout fundraising in Asia. Investors have closed more new vehicles than in 2016, but nothing unusual in the scope of the past five years in terms of overall activity.
To get to the unusual part, one must look into the future.
A whole host of private equity firms are planning multibillion-dollar funds focused on Asia—the latest sign of the incredible ease with which investors are raising new capital for all kinds of vehicles. Baring Private Equity Asia is the latest shop to get in on the action, setting its sights on a new $6 billion Asia fund, according to Reuters, in what would be Baring's largest flagship vehicle ever.
The firm has plenty of company. Back in June, KKR closed its third flagship Asia fund on $9.3 billion, the biggest pool of capital ever raised with a focus on the region. Another buyout giant, The Carlyle Group, conducted a $4.5 billion first close for its fifth Asia fund in early November, with a $5 billion target looming.
In addition, several other firms began Asian efforts of their own over the summer. Blackstone is reportedly seeking up to $3 billion for a Pan-Asia fund, while Morgan Stanley is said to be considering a $2 billion Asian private equity fund, and L Catterton established a $1.25 billion target for its third retail fund focused on the region.
Emerging markets investor The Abraaj Group, meanwhile, reportedly wants between $5 billion and $8 billion for its latest flagship fund, which will surely conduct some deals in Asia. And Affinity Partners, which spun out of UBS Capital Asia Pacific in 2004, is said to be seeking $5 billion for its next effort.
If all those firms hit their targets, it could amount to some $30 billion in new capital that will be put to work in Asia.