United Arab Emirates: 尚未成熟的阿联酋私募股权市场,能否凭借科技赢得一席之地?

Last Updated: 28 August 2019
Article by TMF Group

无论是一级还是二级市场的私募股权基金产品,基金管理人可以借助技术工具与传统路演相结合的方式和新的投资者建立关系。

当前,全球私募股权行业面临的最大挑战之一就是如何对资金进行合理分配并进行投资,避免落入价值陷阱或者投资企业时出价过高,这也解释了为何市场上存在大量未投资金。

谈到募资,传统路演仍然扮演着重要角色。然而,TMF Group私募股权和房地产服务欧洲、中东及非洲地区区域总监 Thomas Erichsen认为:"科技已经开始在融资中发挥力量,一些基金管理人正借助科技手段募集大量的资金,同时寻找更新、更快的方式来配置资金。这某种程度上改变了私募基金市场的配置流程,基金管理人现在可以通过将先进科技和传统方式相结合,从而找到合适的投资者。"

技术工具+传统路演,打造与投资者建立关系的全新方式

对于像阿联酋私募股权投资市场这样出现较晚、尚不成熟的市场,正处在发展阶段,无论是一级还是二级市场私募股权基金产品,基金管理人可以借助技术工具与传统路演相结合的方式和新的投资者建立关系。

Erichsen提到,整体而言,阿联酋一直都是最初采纳技术的国家。阿联酋大多数私募股权基金都是垂直一体化结构,这意味着他们拥有自己的中、后台部门。大量科技已经投入到工作处理过程之中,因此利用科技进行融资活动是水到渠成的事情。

当前,技术性平台例如Murano和CEPRES等正在重塑融资方式。Murano旨在优化与普通合伙人和有限合伙人之间的沟通;而CEPRES则借助技术分析与基本面分析,为机构投资者提供了一种有效对标和衡量私募市场投资项目的途径。

五十年零税率,私募股权参与交易量翻番

总部位于阿布扎比的Gulf Capital是中东地区最大的私募股权基金之一,正计划在2020年推出其旗下第四期基金。Gulf Capital首席执行官Karim El Solh接受《国民报》(The National)访问时表示,新基金的规模可能会超过GC Equity Partners三期基金(规模达7.5亿美元)。El Solh认为,在当前经济形势下,私募股权投资经理在甄选投资项目时必须保持耐心,因此2019年GC Equity Partners三期基金预计只会投资三至五个项目。"具体时间很难说,因为交易达成需要酝酿很长时间。"

阿联酋境内设立的私募股权基金数量不断增加,不仅仅在迪拜国际金融中心(DIFC)的传统管辖区内,在2015年成立的金融自由区阿布扎比全球市场(ADGM)亦是如此。Preqin数据显示,2018年中东和北非地区共有17起私募股权基金参与的收购交易。虽然这一数字与2017年持平,但平均交易总额从3.5亿美元同比增加至7.43亿美元。

对于考虑在迪拜国际金融中心发行基金的私募股权管理人来说,必须注意的是在本地设立的基金业务受迪拜金融服务管理局(DFSA)的监管。根据《迪拜2004年第9号法律》,在迪拜国际金融中心成立后的50年内,中心对个人和企业实行零税率的管理。

TMF Group阿联酋办事处总经理 Stephanie Williams表示:"阿联酋的投资基金监管政策对国际企业和投资者而言是非常明确、易于理解的。对设立新基金架构而言,阿联酋正在成为一个颇具吸引力的地区。"

本土基金在阿联酋大热,数字经济成海湾地区关键增长领域

目前,阿联酋基金一般会在全球范围内进行投资,但未来阿联酋政府会鼓励更多本地投资。

从融资角度来看,许多阿联酋的私人银行非常擅长私募股权投资,但正如Williams所言:"这里的市场比过去几年成熟很多。我们注意到在阿联酋国内以及更广泛的地区,融资活动正在兴起。过去,基金管理人到阿联酋境外募集资金,要在伦敦、香港、新加坡等地进行路演,但现在很多融资路演会在阿联酋境内举办。从我们收到大量有关基金管理服务的需求来看,这是我们目前见证的最大变化之一。"

从司法管辖区的角度来看,私募股权基金管理人在设立一只新基金时考量的关键因素之一就是税收效率。Erichsen表示:"出于这个原因,很多阿联酋地区基金管理人热衷于推出本土基金,但与此同时,他们也希望推出一只平行基金(例如在卢森堡)来获得在欧洲地区的曝光。阿联酋私募股权市场发展呈现出良好态势,TMF Group有望成为提供本地基金管理和监管合规服务的先行者。我认为,我们将看到越来越多的基金发行活动。"

从投资机会的角度来看,Williams表示,私募股权基金管理人对金融科技企业展现出极大兴趣。从更广的角度来讲,这也是海湾地区的一大关键增长领域。去年12月,首届阿拉伯数字经济会议组委会发布的一份报告称,数字经济可为阿拉伯国家贡献超过3万亿美元的GDP。目前,数字经济对全球经济的贡献高达22%,而这一数字在阿拉伯国家仅为4%。阿联酋对金融科技投资项目非常关注,对包括涉及加密货币的交易也表现出兴趣。"

阿联酋主权财富基金Mubadala和其他政府支持的机构都在推动成立国内的投资平台。Williams对此评论道:"与其他市场相比,阿联酋本地对环境、社会和公司治理基金(ESG)投资和社会影响力投资(impact investing)的关注比较少。然而,在有了中东和北非地区指数(Mena Index)后,这种情况会有所改变,因为越来越多的投资者在做出投资决定之前会查看该指数。我们有希望看到推出更多关注ESG的本地投资项目和基金产品。"

二级市场势头强劲,成为阿联酋私募股权市场重要增长领域

有望推动阿联酋私募股权市场规模增长的另外一大领域是二级市场。近年来,在全球范围内,私募股权二级市场发展势头颇为强劲。根据年度《Setter Capital Volume Report》,2018年私募股权二级市场的规模增长36.2%,高达702亿美元。

Erichsen认为,私募股权一级市场的优异表现为二级市场带来了溢出效应。随着时间的推移,基金管理人可能会想改变投资方向,并考虑从某些长期投资中套现退出,那么在二级市场上出售普通合伙人的权益不失为一种途径。对于阿联酋而言,二级市场绝对是阿联酋私募股权市场的一大重要增长领域。他同时指出,有两种交易类型在二级市场正变的日渐突出:分别是由普通合伙人牵头的重组交易和单一资产交易。不仅是在阿联酋,在全球范围内都呈现出了这样的趋势。

Erichsen说道:"每笔交易的尽职调查包括投资目的地的风险和稳定性。阿联酋成为具有吸引力的投资目的地包含诸多因素,人们最为熟悉的经济、文化因素也最为主要。为此,TMF Group也正在对私募业务进行积极调整,助力阿联酋私募股权市场增长。"

正如Private Equity Wire 6月18日所报道的,规模最大的私募股权投资公司之一、总部位于美国芝加哥的Adams Street Partners,宣布旗下第六期二级市场基金已完成募集。Adams Street Partners的第六期基金从有限合伙人处募集到10.5亿美元,这是全球私募股权二级市场不断成熟的一个最新例证。在此之前, Whitehorse Liquidity Partners成功为公司第二只私募股权二级市场基金募集10亿美元,Commonfund Capital为旗下第二期Common fund Capital Secondary Partners基金募集4.5亿美元。

私募股权二级市场基金吸引人的一个因素是风险调整后的回报情况。与基金成立之初便投入资金相比,二级市场基金回报往往会稍低一些,因为投资者在投资周期的较后阶段进入基金,也就是在是在J曲线尾部时进入。

Erichsen表示,私募股权二级市场基金管理人及其投资者可以看见更多基本面数据,因此可以更详细地分析已投公司,也就是说从基金资产净值的角度而非从企业价值的角度分析。与盲目投资于新基金相比,私募股权二级市场投资一个非常大的优势是透明度。科技正从不同层面影响着私募股权行业,这不仅是在分析二级市场投资的层面,还包括基金管理人融资、部署资金以及经营业务的方式。资产类别从未如此透明,因此价值得以加快释放。

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本文最初发表在Private Equity WireProperty Funds World网站上。

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