Is Myanmar Asia’s Next Emerging Market Opportunity?


March 14, 2014

For private equity (PE) investors that love to target emerging markets, Asia is often the location they most regularly look at for opportunities. Typically, India and China are the most analysed locations, as because their growing economic power they are still enjoying healthy overall growth, brining opportunities aplenty for PE house that are looking at the longer term.


At the same time, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand have all started to become targets for investment in various sectors. Another country to emerge as a PE opportunity in the South East Asia region is Myanmar (Burma). Myanmar currently does not receive a great deal of overseas investment, even from the PE powerhouses that exist close by in China, Japan, and South Korea. This fact alone means that many are turning away from Myanmar, but is the smart money looking at the country and investing before everyone else does?


Experienced PE investor Josephine Price, one of the co-founders of the Anthem Asia firm, spoke to Asian Investor about the opportunities that exist in Myanmar, and linked them to her reasons for founding Anthem Asia in 2012. Price said, “I’ve always wanted to do something that was independent.”


When questioned about her personal motives, and those of her firm, for investing in Myanmar and on where she sees the opportunity, she added, “There’s often a mismatch between the amount of money that goes into a market, and the opportunities. You don’t need a lot [of capital to make an investment]. The average deal size is not that big.”
Price and her colleagues have been based in Asia for well over a decade, so have an intimate understanding of the area and are well tuned into the opportunities. Savvy PE houses around the world would do well to keep a close eye on Anthem Asia and the development of the Myanmar PE market, as there could well be opportunities to exploit in the near future, but a very small window in which they can take advantage.

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