Singapore’s Tembusu Partners To Launch $149M China Funds In Big Data Hub Guizhou

China's radio telescope site FAST kick-starts its trial operation in September 2016 in southwestern China's Guizhou province.

Singapore-based private equity investment firm Tembusu Partners announced on Thursday that it would launch several investment funds totaling at least RMB1 billion (US$149.26 million) in southwestern China’s Guizhou province — a future big data hub underpinned by the Chinese government.

The funds launched by Tembusu would primarily invest in fields like technology, infrastructure, healthcare, and tourism in China, said Tembusu Partners in a statement. Portfolio companies would be eligible for financial incentive schemes from the Chinese governments.

The company said it established an 80-20 joint venture with a Guizhou state-owned entity. The joint venture already secured the first Qualified Foreign Limited Partner (QFLP) license in the province to enjoy "an express lane" for regulatory approval and taxation, without the issue of foreign currency convertibility.

Through a strategic partnership with the Guizhou government, Tembusu would receive "first-hand access" to deal flow. The company, registered as a private equity fund manager with China’s Asset Management Association, has established an office in Guiyang, the provincial capital, since 2017. It also has operations in Chinese metropolis Shanghai.

Guizhou province was proposed in 2015 by the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to spearhead the country’s future big data development. Under the government’s favorable policies, Guizhou has attracted global internet giants like Apple, Huawei, and Tencent to open and operate secure data centers. The province is also the home to the world’s largest radio telescope, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST).

Along with the initiative, Tembusu also announced the appointment of Lim Ming Yan, former CEO of property giant CapitaLand, as chairman of its China Advisory Board as the pan-Asian investment firm seeks to increase investments in China.

The funds would "enable Tembusu to bridge the investment communities of China, Southeast Asia and the rest of the world through accelerated deal flows," said Andy Lim, founder and chairman of Tembusu Partners, in the statement. "As China continues to open up and connect with the world, the funds will pave the way for more to participate starting from Guizhou."

Tembusu was founded in 2006 to specialize in growth capital and mezzanine investments in Asia’s emerging markets including China, India and Southeast Asia. The company has completed more than S$250 million (US$185.29 million) worth of private equity transactions to date, said Tembusu on its website.

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