JP Morgan said on Tuesday it had earmarked $750 million for private equity investment in Asia, aiming to take minority stakes in businesses in a region where buyouts are notoriously difficult.
The U.S. investment bank said in a statement that it wanted to invest in ventures with existing corporate clients in several areas, including the consumer, retail, industrial, health care and natural resources sectors.
The expansion will be headed by Varun Bery and John Troy, co-founders of TVG Capital Partners, which invested in telecommunications in China, Australia, South Korea and India.
TVG Capital is being wound down, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
"This investment is part of our intensified growth strategy in Asia Pacific," JPMorgan Asia Pacific chief executive Gaby Abdelnour said in the statement.
The new team will be the Asia arm of JPMorgan's Private Equity Principal Investments business, which is led by Bob Case from New York.
JPMorgan has also invested in Asian private equity through its units One Equity Partners and Principal Investment Management.
Private equity funds run by the likes of Morgan Stanley, Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group are ratcheting up their investments in the fast-growing Indian and Chinese markets as a global credit crunch hampers big buyouts in Europe and the United States.
But in a region where full-scale buyouts are often frowned upon and are difficult because families are still the main players in business, funds have had to settle mostly for taking minority stakes.
"We see a big opportunity to enhance JPMorgan's private equity base in the region," Troy said in the statement.