Carlyle Group CEO David Rubenstein. Source: Screen grab of footage from Bloomberg

“The theory’s always been that Asia is very expensive,” Carlyle Group CEO David Rubenstein said in an interview with Bloomberg.  “It might be expensive in certain areas, but generally, it’s cheaper than the US right now. There’s really a bargain here.”

He said that valuations of Asian companies are actually a fifth lower than in the US, and his firm is especially focused on India and China, as well as Japan.

Though private equity transactions reached record levels in 2016, PE activity in the region is only a sixth or seventh of the level of activity in the US.

Carlyle group is looking for US$5-6 billion for its fifth Asian fund. This follows KKR & Co’s record US$9.3 billion closing for its third Asia-focused fund.

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