Brunei Government partners with Japan's SBI

Japan’s SBI Holdings and Brunei’s Ministry of Finance will establish a fund management company to manage private equity funds.

Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings and Brunei Global Islamic Investments, an investment vehicle owned by Brunei Darussalam’s Ministry of Finance, will jointly establish a fund management company in Brunei.

The new company will manage private equity funds including Shariah-compliant ones, SBI said in a statement. The funds will make Shariah-compliant investments primarily in Asian companies.

Other details about the fund management company or the funds it will manage were not disclosed.

The setting up of the fund management company is in keeping with Brunei’s aspiration of diversifying its economy away from the oil and gas sector and establishing itself as a regional financial hub by developing its financial services sector, the statement noted.

SBI holdings has partnered with other firms in the past. It manages the Green Growth Fund alongside Korean private equity firms Korea Technology Investment Corporation and Benex Investment. That fund aims to raise $80 million and will invest 70 percent of its capital in Korea. 

The firm also manages the ¥10 billion (€1.1 billion; $1.5 billion) India Knowledge Fund, an equal joint venture with SBI Capital Markets, the investment banking subsidiary of the State Bank of India.

SBI Holdings also plans to raise ¥30 billion for a second venture capital fund focused on making investments in Asia’s clean technology sector, an SBI spokesman confirmed with sister publication PEI Asia in February. The fund will be raised this year and will target investors such as Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and Masdar Clean Tech Fund, a $250 million clean technology-focused fund of funds.