LONDON Oct 17 Private equity firms are planning
to increase investment in Asia over the next year as they look
to tap into potential growth, a survey from Ernst & Young
Some 83 percent of private equity firms surveyed by Ernst &
Young for its Global Capital Confidence Barometer, said they
planned to increase investment activity in emerging Asian
countries, such as Indonesia, over the next 12 months, making it
the most appealing region for professional dealmakers.
Private equity groups have flooded into emerging markets in
recent years, looking for large profits from companies in
fast-growing economies with growing and increasingly wealthy
Some early investments show signs of paying off. Leading
European private equity firm CVC is seeking more than $2 billion
for Indonesia's largest department store chain Matahari - more
than double the price it paid just two and half years ago.
Emerging Asia was followed by China and the United States in
equal second place, where 72 percent of private equity
respondents said they planned to increase investment.
Some 42 percent of the 100 respondents to the survey said
they planned to do more deals in Europe.
Despite their confidence in some markets, private equity
firms are more concerned about the number of potential deals
they can find.
Seventy-eight percent of private equity groups surveyed said
they were confident in the number of deals available, compared
with 95 percent six months ago, reflecting the difficulty for
buyers and sellers to agree on price, and large corporations'
reluctance to sell non-core assets, Ernst & Young said.