Sri Lanka private equity fund to be started by Singapore firm: report

June 22, 2009 (LBO) – Calamander Group, a Singapore based fund, is starting a 50 million US dollar private equity fund to invest in export commodity processing firms, a media report said.

Last week Bloomberg quoted Arjuna Mahendran, HSBC Private Bank’s chief investment strategist, as saying that Sri Lanka could benefit from its proximity to
India, just as Hong Kong profits from being a trade hub to China.

Sri Lanka’s policy makers have been trying to push a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India, but the deal is at the moment stalled largely due to opposition from extremist elements in the ruling coalition.

Protectionist business elements that want a captive domestic consumer base also oppose trade liberalization and competition.

Private equity firms invest in unlisted firms. Calamander plans to raise funds from Asian investors that target India as well as high net worth Indians themselves, Bloomberg newswires said.

“The geopolitical risks are not half as bad as everybody thinks they are in the West, Bloomberg quoted Calamander managing director Roman Scott as saying.

“So rather than waste our time trying to persuade people who have ne