SINGAPORE (June 11): Azalea Investment Management, a Temasek Holdings subsidiary, has launched what is believed to be the world’s first listed private-equity bond for retail investors. Previously, private-equity investments were almost exclusively the domain of sophisticated investors and institutions. Bonds sold locally had to be in tranches of at least $200,000. The Astrea IV Bonds, as the offering is called, will be available for subscription at a minimum of $2,000 each.
For Azalea, which was set up in 2015, the key point of launching this new product is not so much to raise capital as it is to introduce a new asset class to the market for retail investors. “This is not a leveraging exercise; it is really about bringing the product to the marketplace,” says Margaret Lui, CEO of Azalea, at the media briefing on June 5.
The listing of a retail bond that specialises in private-equity investments will add more variety to a stock market characterised as being increasingly hogged by the dozens of real estate investment trusts, whose units investors tend to buy and hold, instead of actively trade.