Raising money for Asian private-equity tumbled by nearly a quarter in the first half of 2012, according to Asian Venture Capital Journal (AVCJ). Transactions also fell. Investors were spooked by weak markets and high valuations in IPO offers, the Journal wrote.

The Asian region took in $26.2 billion in funds, which was 23.4 percent less than money raised at the same time last year. This is the lowest number since 2009.

Meanwhile, local currency fund raising in China dominated the region. TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. continued to dominate this financial market sector and raised substantial money to focus on Asia.

Raising funds in China tumbled by nine percent in the first six months of the year as compared to 2011. The total raised amounted to $17.7 billion. This number represented 79 percent of all funds raised in the Asian and Pacific region. Eighty-two percent of this $17.7 billion came chiefly from local currency yuan funds.

Out of all the large funds that closed this year, 18 of the 30 were yuan funds. Many were backed by the government. Private-equity funds are having a hard time raising funds in the region, said Doug Coulter, the head manager for Asian private equity funding at LGT Capital Partners. Coulter said the days of selling China as a dream investment strategy is over.

Singapore and Australia managed to avoid the private-equity fund raising tumble. Both areas saw a big triple increase in fund raising. Australia saw its private-equity funds shoot up to $255 million in the first half of 2012. That’s up from $78 million raised during the same period in 2011. Investors are expressing an interest in distressed properties up for sale in Australia. Investors also like the food sector in Australia.

The big fund raising increase in Singapore is a signal that investors see Southeast Asia as a growth region. Analysts are noting an increase in business deals in that area. Despite the increased interest in Southeast Asia, Tim Burroughs at AVCJ cautioned that fund raising targeted to that area is low. Saratoga Capital has raised about $600 million so far for its Indonesia fund.

The managing partner at Headland Capital Partners, George Raffini, said that his company looks at buyouts in the Southeast Asia region because it has lower markets liquidity than Korea or China.

Private-equity giant KKR is shooting for about $6 billion for its second Asia fund. So far, KKR has raised about $3 billion. TPG has targeted a total of $4 billion that will be marked toward its sixth pan-Asian fund. The company may meet its first close of $1.5 billion by June. RRJ Capital Limited, based in Hong Kong and Singapore, has gained more than $3 billion in commitments toward its $5 billion Asia-focused fund.

Over the entire region, deal volumes have decreased since last year. The total deal value in China fell more than 29 percent. On the other hand, investment in Japan shot up nearly 28 percent.

Continue reading the main stories of Asia-Pacific regions investing topics from David Hand Crescent Point Singapore and Crescent Point Venture Capital, the robust emerging markets investment management and financial advisory firm primarily targeting in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

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