Asian Tiger Capital launches Bangladesh fund

The Dhaka firm is raising between $50m and $75m to invest in Bangladesh's financial services, manufacturing and consumer demand-driven sectors. In the future, it will raise a Bangladesh infrastructure fund.

Corporate advisory and private equity firm Asian Tiger Capital Partners has started fundraising for its maiden private equity fund. Focused on Bangladesh, the AT Capital Strategic Opportunities Fund is targeting between $50 million and $75 million in commitments from international investors.

The firm is looking to fully raise the fund within a year, Asian Tiger Capital founder and managing partner Ifty Islam said in an interview.

The fund will make between 10 and 15 investments ranging from $2 million to $10 million. 

It will provide growth capital to companies in the financial services, manufacturing and domestic consumer demand-driven sectors, said Islam. He added that it will acquire stakes larger than 20 percent in businesses

There is a compelling commercial opportunity, and private equity can also be a critical catalyst in the country's development.

Ifty Islam

it invests in and that it is open to making co-investments with other private equity players keen to invest in Bangladesh.

“There is a compelling commercial opportunity, and private equity can also be a critical catalyst in the country’s development,” said Islam.

Bangladesh suffers from a lack of foreign direct investments inflow and private equity will play an important role in addressing this problem, he added.

Asian Tiger Capital Partners currently has three partners including Islam and Syeed Khan, another founding member.

The firm will also raise an infrastructure fund focused on Bangladesh at some stage, Islam said, noting there is much opportunity in that sector. 

Islam was earlier a managing director of Citigroup in London, where he was the head of macro strategy and hedge fund research. Before, he worked for eight years at Deutsche Bank Securities in London and New York, latterly as managing director and chief US strategist. Islam has also worked as a European strategist at Merrill Lynch.

There is at least one other private equity firm focused on Bangladesh as well – Sweden’s Brummer & Partners has raised a Bangladesh-focused private equity fund, reportedly in the range of $60 million.