EXS Capital eyes countries with great value & fundamentals, temporary distress

Real estate private equity firm EXS Capital has set its sights on countries which have great value, economy, and fundamentals with temporary distresses, CEO Eric Solberg said on Thursday.

The Hong Kong-based investment firm is looking at Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Thailand, where it believes international investors have been overly discounting.

“We look for specific markets where we see value, great economy and fundamentals and temporary distress. For example, in 2012 until 2013, Vietnam was one of the most exciting countries in Asia – we see very aspirational, hardworking people. What happened was inflation got out of control, interest rates went up, PE and VCs stopped investing, and that’s where we went in,” Solberg said at DEALSTREETASIA’s annual flagship Asia PE & VC Summit in Singapore on Thursday.

“What that means today is markets like China, although we believe in the fundamentals and so on, but from the valuation point of view it’s hard to make sense,” he added.

Solberg believes that whatever businesses investors are looking into – even real estates – it is important to think about how tech and e-commerce industry will impact the business.

In Vietnam, EXS Capital invests in SonKim Land since 2012. The PE firm expects to raise $100 plus more for the Vietnamese developer and lead it to an IPO where it could become the top three listed real estate company in Vietnam. The company claims to have produced more than 25 per cent IRR for the firm’s investors.

EXS Capital focuses on privately-negotiated investments in Asia, seeking either majority or shared control. The company invests opportunistically across industries, particularly real estate.

Founded in 2007, EXS Capital has led over $250 million in alternative investments in Asia, representing over $1 billion in enterprise value. EXS originated, structured and executed these investments on a deal-by-deal basis, partnering with global private equity firms, hedge funds and international investment banks for funding.

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