IFC to invest in Indochina SMEs

The investment arm of the World Bank had recently partnered with Apollo to target distressed assets in emerging markets.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, plans to invest up to $7.5 million in a fund focused on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Indochina region,

The IFC’s commitment is capped at 20 percent of total commitments in the $70 million Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar Development Fund II, according to an investment disclosure. The fund will be managed by Emerging Markets Investment Advisers (EMIA), a Singapore-based private equity firm founded by Trent Eddy and Joshua Morris. The investment and advisory firm has been active in the region since 2004.

IFC is a repeat investor in EMIA and is expected to have a seat on the fund’s advisory committee, the filing said. It will also assist with the firm’s expansion into Myanmar and strengthen its back office operations.

The World Bank’s private sector investment arm has been active in Asia recently. Early last month, the IFC said it plans to commit more than $40 million to Mumbai-based Multiples Alternate Asset Management’s second fund, with plans to co-invest alongside it. It will target mid-market consumer, healthcare, logistics and IT services companies, as reported by Private Equity International.

The IFC had also recently teamed up with US-based Apollo Global Management to set up a $1 billion vehicle targeting distressed assets in emerging markets. The transaction will consist of a debt and equity investment of up to $500 million from the IFC, while Apollo will put in the remaining $500 million.

The IFC has been an active investor in private equity, investing about $500 million annually into funds focused on developing countries through its subsidiary Asset Management Company. It has more than $5 billion invested in 280 funds, including Kotak Mahindra Group, Softbank China Venture Capital, Decheng Capital, Brummer & Partners and Olympus Capital Asia.