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US$12b earmarked for Asean enterprises via new matching platform

ON a new deal-making platform, 380 investors have indicated intentions to invest up to US$6.2 billion in Asean enterprises in 2019, with another US$6 billion earmarked over the following two years, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Monday.

About 60 per cent of intended investment in 2019 was concentrated in the sectors of fintech, healthcare, medical technology, and information and communications technology. “The capital the investors planned to deploy was higher than the demand for financing from participating Asean enterprises,” noted MAS.

The MATCH (Meet Asean’s Talents and Champions) platform is part of this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival, but extends to sectors beyond fintech. Powered by Ernst & Young, it curates and matches Asean enterprises with global private equity and venture capital.

Matchmaking was conducted from May to September. More than 17,000 matches were generated between 380 investors and 840 enterprises, with investors most interested in start-ups and growth stage enterprises.

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The exercise shows “the upward momentum in both the supply of and demand for growth capital in Asean”, said MAS deputy managing director Jacqueline Loh, adding: “MATCH presents a great opportunity to ensure that private capital is deployed towards the development of promising Asean enterprises. MAS is committed to supporting this process.”

EY Asean and Singapore managing partner Max Loh said: "On the back of fast-growing economies, a digital-savvy young middle-income population and high mobile and internet penetration rates, we see a thriving entrepreneur and startup ecosystem across Asean particularly in the technology and fintech sectors. Having said that, many SMEs continue to face challenges in seeking access to funding or opportunities to connect with the right investors."

The 2018 Singapore FinTech Festival includes a new component, the Global Investor Summit, on Nov 13 and 14. Targeted at investors and enterprises, it will feature themes such as capital raising strategies, building businesses across borders, investors’ outlook and dialogues with leaders from India, China and Asean.