HONG KONG (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP said it has raised about $9.4 billion in new Asia-focused funds, including its first private equity fund for the region, adding to a massive industry-wide pool of money for Asian acquisitions and investments.
The U.S. private equity firm closed the Asian private equity fund at about $2.3 billion, while raising $7.1 billion for its second regional "opportunistic" real estate fund, it said in two separate statements.
Investor interest in Asia-focused private equity has grown as deals have increased in size following corporate restructuring and as global private equity funds make headway in key markets, including China, India and Japan.
"The region continues to experience strong growth compared to other major markets, presenting compelling investment opportunities across sectors," said Joe Baratta, Blackstone's global head of private equity.
Global investors have shown robust appetite for shopping malls, warehouses and other property assets in Asia, buoyed by growing urbanization and rising incomes in its two most populous countries of China and India.
Blackstone's real estate business was founded in 1991 and has about $120 billion in capital under management globally. The portfolio includes hotel, office, retail and industrial properties in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The firm raised $5.08 billion in its first Asia-focused property fund.
(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee, Kane Wu and Julie Zhu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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