Thai Govt to launch $762m PE fund in Feb

The Thailand government, taking cue from other South East Asian (SEA) countries, has entered the domestic private equity (PE) arena, to encourage the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) .

The Thai Cabinet has approved setting up of the first government SME private equity trust fund worth 25 billion baht ($762.2 million) , according to a government announcement earlier, today.

Finance minister Sommai Phasee said that the fund would commence in February 2015. The government plans to contribute 5 to 50 per cent of the registered capital in high potential SMEs. The initial funding of 500 million baht has been approved for the fund, which will be administered via the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SME Bank).

The move comes after the a flurry of policy decisions taken by the government to support the small scale sector. The recently announced measures include, a reduced import duty for industrial machinery for SMEs, a nano-finance scheme and the lowering of corporate income tax.

These measures are seen as part of the government’s focus on spurring growth in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by giving them easy access to finance. Recently, the SME Bank too, had announced a launch of a 100 million baht ($3.1 million) venture-capital fund to support high-potential SMEs

“We need to set up this fund to support small and the medium enterprises (SMEs), which account for more than one-third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP),” said the finance minister while announcing the new government PE fund for SMEs, adding: “Many of them cannot run the business due to the shortage of financial liquidity. This fund will help them solve this issue.”

Yongyuth Mayalarp, the government’s spokesman, said on the government’s daily TV program that the funding (of the SMEs) would be divided into two phases. For the first phrase, each selected startup will be given five million baht ($0.15 million). In the second phrase, if the SME proves its high potential, it will be considered for further funding of up to 30 million baht ($0.91 million).

He said that this fund might also be granted the same tax incentives as a real estate investment trust (REIT).

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.