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Good Year Ahead for Private Equity: Carlyle's Rubenstein

Next year will be “quite good” for the private equity world, David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of the private equity firm the Carlyle Group, told CNBC Monday.

“Right now, the signs are quite good, interest rates are quite low, financing is available, equity is available, prices are reasonable for deals getting done,” said Rubenstein, who was speaking from Tel Aviv, where he is on an end-of-the-year business trip touring the Middle East.

“At the beginning of 2010, nobody predicted how good it would be for the private equity world,” he added. Rubenstein said the Carlyle Group has invested about $7 billion in equity in 2010 and returned that same amount to investors. “It’s been the best year for us in a few years.”

Rubenstein said the firm remains bullish on China, in spite of concerns from other business leaders who think bubbles there are about to burst.

“I analogize what’s going on in China with what went on in the U.S. in 1910, when people were saying that the U.S. might be a flash in the pan,” he added.

“The truth is China has 1.2 or .3 billion people, growth is just staggering. Yes, there might be overheated markets from time to time, but given the population size, given the growth of the economy, given the foreign reserves they have, it’s a big mistake to ignore China.”