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US$100m China media fund launched in Singapore

NOTED Chinese film producer Yu Dong, local private equity firm Tembusu Partners and former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng have teamed up to start a US$100 million closed-end fund to invest in China's burgeoning media and entertainment industry.

Anchor investors are likely to be Mr Yu's Nasdaq-listed Bona Film Group and Thai conglomerate Chia Tai Group, otherwise known as the Charoen Pokphand group.

The five- to seven-year fund has no official name yet. It will be formalised on March 31, 2015, with fund-raising to start after. It is targeting returns of 20 to 30 per cent a year, said Mr Cheng, who put the deal together and will oversee investments.

Mr Cheng is the executive director and co-founder of Lumina-Looque International, a media firm that owns event companies, model agencies and a publishing company.

"China is the most exciting media market today in terms of box office takings. It is already the second-largest in the world and quickly catching up with the US," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"The convergence of new and old media is happening at a speed matched only by the US ... the opportunities and returns for investment in these markets are fast and exciting."

The fund will not just invest in films, but also in games, theme parks, media companies and Internet projects, said Mr Cheng.

It will also be looking at cooperation opportunities between China and countries like Singapore and the US, through co-productions or joint ventures.