EMERGING MARKETS Gaining ground

While private equity fundraising among the globe's emerging markets has taken a hit from the financial crisis, new data nonetheless provides further evidence that the axis of private equity power is shifting from developed to emerging markets.

A total of 84 emerging market funds between them raised $16 billion in the first six months of 2009: a 55 percent decline on the $36 billion raised by the same point last year, according to research conducted by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA).

The amount of capital invested during the same time period reflects a similar decline, falling by 52 percent to $12.8 billion from $26.6 billion.

Sarah Alexander, president of EMPEA describes a “generally less severe” decline in capital raising and investment than that experienced in developed markets. “We are not seeing the sort of capital flight from emerging markets that followed past crises,” she says.

Even with activity halving in 12 months, EMPEA says emerging markets are gaining ground on developed markets, accounting in the first half of the year for one-fifth of funds raised globally and almost a quarter (24 percent) of investment activity.

Conditions for managers looking to raise capital remain difficult. “Even though many Western investors consider themselves under-allocated to, and remain bullish on, emerging markets, their hands are tied for the near term due to internal cash constraints,” says Alexander.