Michael Byung-ju Kim, the founder and chairman of MBK Partners, Asia’s largest private equity firm, has identified burgeoning domestic consumption in China, and Korea and Japan’s rapidly ageing populations as the key investment targets in the region in 2017. Kim highlights that China is no longer solely reliant on a strong export sector, but is instead becoming a “domestic consumption giant in its own right”. As such, MBK has focused on sectors that drive domestic consumption, including beauty spas, car rental and theme parks. Meanwhile, with ageing populations in Japan and Korea, Kim sees health care as a booming industry, with the elderly care sector in particular, benefiting from investment. MBK Partners focuses on nursing care providers for the elderly in Japan including Tsukui Holdings Corporation and Unimat Retirement Community, as well as South Korean dental implant manufacturer Osstem Implant. The latter was bought by MBK Partners for $609m in equity. Overall Kim sees private equity markets in Asia continuing to grow, albeit with some turbulence.
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