AJ Capital 'planning hedge fund of $136 million or more'

Singapore-based family office AJ Capital is planning to start a hedge fund that will focus on lending money to businesses in the healthcare and education sectors in Asia, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The yet-to-be-named fund is expected to launch in March and target firms in South-east Asia and India, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The planned minimum external capital for the fund is expected to be about US$100 million (S$136 million), the person said, without disclosing the total forecast size.

Asset managers have been establishing lending funds over the past few years as regulatory constraints force banks to reduce risk on their balance sheets, limiting their ability to advance capital.

Hong Kong-headquartered family office JM Enigma is expanding in the region with operations dedicated to corporate lending, while Fortress Investment Group LLC is augmenting its private-credit push with a direct-lending fund, according to other people with knowledge of the matter last month.

AJ Capital was started in 2012 by Mr Abhinav Jhunjhunwala. A former analyst with San Francisco-based hedge fund Valiant Capital Management, he helped with that company's global long-short equity strategy.

The hedge fund... will focus on lending money to businesses in the healthcare and education sectors in Asia, according to a person familiar with the matter. The yet-to-be-named fund is expected to launch in March and target firms in South-east Asia and India.

The family office he heads currently runs a multi-strategy portfolio, comprising corporate credit, commodities, currencies, listed equity, private equity and venture capital, the person said.

Apart from Mr Jhunjhunwala, senior staff at AJ Capital include chief financial officer Ankit Singhal, who previously worked for sovereign wealth fund GIC; chief operating officer Siraj Ali, who was a former vice-president at Deutsche Bank; and Mr Anubhav Gupta, who used to be an equity analyst at UBS Group AG in Singapore.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2018, with the headline 'AJ Capital 'planning hedge fund of $136 million or more''. Print Edition | Subscribe