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Singapore launches $100m China media fund

A group of Singaporean investors are today launching a US$100 million fund for the Chinese media and entertainment sector.

Yu Dong, founder and chairman of NASDAQ-listed Bona Film Group Limited (Bona Film, Infernal Affairs III), private equity fund Tembusu Partners and local media entrepreneur Calvin Cheng signed a memorandum of understanding for the fund at the Singapore Media Festival.

The closed-end five-year fund will be formalised on March 31, 2015.

While the fund targets China’s burgeoning media sector, but will be domiciled in Singapore in order to leverage the country’s legal framework and attract international media investors.

Furthermore, its promoters will look to increase Chinese coproductions and joint ventures with US companies.

“Singapore is the perfect place to launch this fund as it is not only a financial capital of the world, but also as the place where East meets West,” said Bona Film’s Dong. “This fund will allow foreign investors to participate in the fastest growing media and entertainment market in the world.”

He pointed to forecasts that show China will overtake Japan as the second-largest media and entertainment market behind the US by 2018, and overtake the UK and Germany to become the world’s second-largest TV market by 2016.

“This phenomenal growth in China will create many exciting investment opportunities,” he said.

“The existing film and TV coproduction agreement between Singapore and China opens up opportunities for the fund to invest in projects that involve Singapore-based media companies,” said Cheng, who put the deal together.

“In addition, we will be looking at media companies globally that have a ‘China-story’; with the convergence of traditional media with the internet, there will be many exciting new opportunities that will emerge from the vast Chinese landscape, and we will be looking to invest in the best of them.”

“The establishment of this media fund in Singapore is a testament to the country’s position as a regional centre for the financing, production, management and distribution of compelling content,” added Angeline Poh, who is assistant chief executive (industry) of the Media Development Authority of Singapore, which organises the Singapore Media Festival.

“This fund will create an opportunity for Singapore’s media companies and talent to participate in the fast-growing media market in China.”