Millennium Private Equity, a subsidiary of Dubaibased investment bank Millennium Finance Corporation, has completed the first round of fundraising for its energy and telecoms, media and technology (TMT) funds.

The firm raised $200 million (€126 million) from its sponsors for the Global Energy Fund and $150 million for its TMT Fund. The Dubai Islamic Bank, United Gulf Bank and the multilateral development financing institution Islamic Development Bank have committed $50 million to each of the two funds. Kuwait Finance House, a Kuwaiti investment bank, has made a commitment of $50 million to the energy fund, the firm said in a statement.

The two funds are each targeting commitments of $1 billion for their final close.

Izzet Güney, senior executive officer at Millennium Private Equity, said in a statement that the commitments made by the sponsors from across the region reflect “their confidence in the sector-specific strategy… and the growing exit opportunities that maturing regional and broader Islamic capital markets offer”.

The firm's energy fund will look to make the most of the opportunities arising from Asia's rapidly growing demand for energy, and will capitalise on its location in Dubai, between a “resource-hungry Asia and a resource-rich Africa,” the firm said.

The TMT fund will invest in products and services in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, in areas that are characterised by an imbalance between the penetration levels of telecoms, media and technology products, and their high demand.

Both funds will invest between $20 million and $100 million per deal.

The energy and TMT funds are part of a family of seven private equity funds that Millennium Private Equity is developing. It is looking to raise a total of $5 billion for the sector-focussed funds, the other five of which will be launched soon and will focus on infrastructure, real estate, health and education, natural resources and financial institutions.

Millennium Private Equity was established in 2006 by Dubai Islamic Bank and Dubai World, the holding company of ports operator Dubai Ports.

Baring Private Equity Asia has closed its fourth fund on $1.52 billion (€967 million), surpassing its target of $1 billion. Baring Asia IV will target businesses in Asia with enterprise values between $100 million to $500 million for expansion, recapitalisation and M&A purposes. The fund will invest in companies in the alternative energy, media, financial services, consumer and industrial sectors in China, India, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Dubai International Capital has demonstrated its commitment to increase its investment exposure in emerging markets in Asia with the launch of a $1 billion (€636 million) China fund in collaboration with First Eastern Investment Group, a Hong Kong private equity firm. The China Dubai Capital fund will be managed by a joint venture between DIC's Emerging Markets division and First Eastern. It is expected to have a final close in October 2008, according to a statement. The fund will target Chinese companies that want to increase their presence in the UAE and in companies with the potential to be listed on the Dubai stock markets.

India-focussed private equity firm UTI Ventures made a return of 50 times its investment from the sale of its 35.5 percent stake in Excelsoft Technologies, an e-learning company, a source close to the deal told sister magazine PEI Asia. The firm sold its stake to global hedge fund DE Shaw. Excelsoft provides clients with e-learning solutions including consulting services, content development, custom software development and product design and engineering services.