HSBC Asia doubles up with $1.47bn fund close

The Hong Kong-based firm invested some 40% of its prior private equity fund in Korea.

HSBC Private Equity (Asia) has closed its sixth private equity fund, rounding up commitments of $1.47 billion.

The fund had a target of $1.25 billion. It is double the size of the Hong Kong-based firm’s previous effort, which closed on $700 million in 2004.

HSBC Private Equity Fund VI includes a major commitment from parent affiliate HSBC. It also includes commitments from institutions in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The HSBC Asia team is led by George Raffini, who joined the firm at its inception in 1989 from consultant Bain & Company.

Roughly 40 percent of the capital from the prior fund was invested in South Korean portfolio companies. A slightly smaller amount was invested in Greater China. HSBC Asia also was active in Southeast Asia. The fund pursued an even mix of control and expansion capital.

“Everybody left Korea. That’s why they stayed there,” said a source close to the fundraising, of HSBC Asia’s decision to remain focused on a country that has in recent years been better known as a hostile environment for foreign capital.

New York-based Guggenheim Capital Markets acted as exclusive placement agent in the US and for select investors in Europe. Guggenheim recently hired placement personnel in Dubai and Hong Kong.