Carlyle looks to Indonesia and Vietnam, hires pair

Banker and experienced private equity investor join global alternative asset manager as it expands into Indonesia and Vietnam.

Carlyle group is stepping up its activities in Southeast Asia, hiring a pair of experienced investment specialists to spearhead its private equity operations in Indonesia and Vietnam.

The US alternative asset manager has poached Credit Suisse’s Robby Winarta and TPG’s Long Hoang, it said in a press release on Wednesday,

The move reflects strong investor interest in the two fast-growing Southeast Asian countries as firms increasingly look for opportunities beyond China and developed Asia.

As Greg Zeluck, co-head of the Carlyle Asia buyout team, put it, the moves strengthen Caryle in countries "where we believe there will be increasing numbers of attractive investment opportunities going forward".

Winarta, most recently Credit Suisse’s head of Indonesia investment banking coverage, will become a managing director leading the firm’s investment activities in Indonesia. Based in Jakarta, he takes up the role on July 2.

Hoang will join from TPG Capital Asia Growth, where he was most recently a vice-president covering investments in Singapore and Vietnam.

Based in Singapore, Hoang will become a director focusing on investment opportunities in Vietnam and will begin work on June 1.

Both new members will join the Carlyle Asia buyout team, which numbers more than 40 employees across Asia Pacific, according to the company's website.

The appointments of Winarta and Hoang come as investment activities in Indonesia and Vietnam continue to show sustained growth.

In Indonesia, foreign direct investment (FDI) grew by 8.5% last year, according to the Investment Coordinating Board, or BKPM. That was  boosted by the 2017 upgrade of Indonesia to investment grade status by all three major ratings agencies and continuing efforts to make it easier to do business for foreign investors.

"Indonesia is a dynamic and fast-growing country, which I expect to yield interesting investment opportunities driven by attractive demographics and a rising middle class," Winarta said in the press release.

Vietnam also saw improving levels of FDI in 2017, hitting $35.6 billion, the highest since 2009 according to the World Trade Organisation. Twice in recent weeks the record for the biggest IPO in the country has been smashed: first in Techombank's $922.59 million listing, then in a $1.4 billion listing by Vinhomes.

The new hires bring considerable experience of the market with them.

Prior to joining Carlyle, Winarta spent 20 years at Credit Suisse, the last 16 years  based in Jakarta. Prior to that he worked in New York and Singapore for Credit Suisse.

Hoang was previously a director at Navis Capital Partners and worked at Standard Chartered Private Equity (Singapore), Dragon Capital Group (Vietnam), and Vincapital Group (Vietnam).

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