Singapore secures three of top five regional deals hinh anh 1Singapore's skyline on June 6, 2020. (Photo: ST File)

Singapore (VNA)
Singapore clinched three of the top five private equity and venture capital deals struck in the region in the first quarter amid markedly slower economic activity across Southeast Asia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were a total of 141 such deals worth 1.4 billion USD in the region from January to March, Ernst & Young said on July 8. This was 9 percent down in terms of deal numbers and 65 percent lower in value compared with the same period last year.

The biggest first-quarter deal in the region was a 706 million USD investment by Krungsri Finnovate and MUFG Innovation Partners in the Singapore-based ride-hailing software company Grab Holdings.

The other two Singapore deals that made the top five were a 75 million USD investment in eCommerce company ShopBack and a 37 million USD investment in solar energy firm Sunseap Group.

Luke Pais, Ernst & Young's M&A and private equity leader for ASEAN region, said there was a lot of uncertainty in the market, but investment activity is likely to pick up pace by the last quarter of this year.

Private equity funds in recent months have focused on dealing with issues such as liquidity, protecting their staff, accessing incentives and ensuring that short-term adjustments are made to ensure the business has adequate resources and support to weather the crisis caused by the pandemic.

Now they are increasingly pivoting to deal with issues such as resumption of trading and making operating adjustments to the business, with a focus on what lies beyond.

The report said that investors are quite bullish about the opportunities in the region - evident from the fact that 121 funds are aiming to raise 38.2 billion USD in capital markets.

Funds focusing on venture capital account for more than half of the total funds in the market, in terms of volume. This is followed by growth and buyout funds representing 19 percent and 12 percent of the total./.