Vietnam's Mekong Capital plans South-East Asia climate fund as early as 2024

  • Vietnam
  • Tuesday, 30 May 2023


SINGAPORE, May 30 (Reuters): Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital is looking to build a climate fund worth up to $200 million as early as next year, focusing on investments that will help with the regeneration of forests in the Mekong region.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based firm is setting up a team for the fund, which will look at businesses that will help restore forests including those involved in organic and seaweed farming in the Mekong region comprising Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, its founder and partner Chris Freund told Reuters.

"There are actually a lot of businesses like that that are doing those things in this region," Freund said in an interview. "But there's really no fund investing in those."

The climate fund is set to be the first to focus specifically on Southeast Asia with the launch coming at a time when investors globally are increasingly focusing on investments that can help in the fight against global warming.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the fund arm of Goldman Sachs, announced in January that it had raised $1.6 billion for its first private equity fund focused on investing in companies providing climate and environmental solutions.

Earlier this month, a U.S. official announced that funding for Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, a U.S. and United Arab Emirates-led initiative to make the world's farming more environmentally friendly and resilient to climate change, has grown to more than $13 billion, from $8 billion in November.

Mekong Capital was founded in 2001 as the first fund in Vietnam to focus only on investing in private local companies instead of state-owned firms or joint ventures. Its current investments include Vietnamese biotech firm Gene Solutions and retail chain HSV Group, according to its website.

In 2019 it launched Mekong Enterprise Fund IV with $246 million in committed capital, more than double that of its predecessor, Mekong Enterprise Fund III, launched in 2015, its website shows. The fund focus mainly on sectors such as education, retail, education and consumer services. - Reuters

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