Annual Ranking Released in 2012 LAVCA Scorecard
New York, May 9, 2012 – Mexico and Peru achieved improvements in the investment environment for private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) in 2011, according to the 2012 LAVCA Scorecard, released today by the Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LAVCA).
The 2012 LAVCA Scorecard is the seventh edition of the annual ranking and reflects a stable regulatory environment across key markets in Latin America.
Top-ranked countries Chile and Brazil did not see any score changes year-on-year, but maintained their first and second place rankings, respectively, due to ongoing positive environments for PE and VC activity. Mexico remained in third place overall, followed by Colombia in fourth place and Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago tied for fifth.
Among the top ranked countries, Mexico improved its score due to an upgrade on capital markets and feasibility of exits. Listing requirements for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to enter the Mexican stock exchange were eased, and IPOs are being stimulated in part by added liquidity from the pension funds participation in the market through the Development Capital Certificates (CKDs) structure.
“Mexico has attracted increased attention from global investors over the last year, as interest in the Latin American region extends outside of Brazil. The country’s score on capital markets development now matches that of Chile and Brazil, thanks to ongoing efforts by the Mexican stock exchange to improve access and increased participation from local pension funds,” said Cate Ambrose, President and Executive Director of LAVCA.
In a reversal from 2011, Peru’s score for fund formation returned to its 2010 level due to feedback from fund managers indicating that the delays with new fund approvals have improved. Though the country ranks eighth overall (tied with Panama), it continues to draw attention from investors looking for opportunities outside Brazil. The country maintains a strong macroeconomic outlook.
Central American and Caribbean countries also fared relatively well in this edition of the Scorecard. Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Costa Rica all posted score increases. Costa Rica passed a new law in November that now provides a specific legal vehicle for the creation of funds that can invest in privately-held countries, resulting in an upgrade on the laws on fund formation indicator. Currently funds are managed through offshore vehicles, so the impact of the new regulation will be monitored closely in the coming years.
“Cost Rica has been working to establish a law for PE/VC funds for several years, so it is exciting to see this progress. It is still a very nascent market, but the fact that regulators are working to develop a local fund industry is positive,” added Ambrose.
Of the twelve regional countries included in the ranking, Argentina and El Salvador were the only two countries to see score decreases. Argentina was downgraded in its score for registration/reserve requirements on inward investments, resulting in a one point decrease in its overall score. In general the country underperforms relative to its size due to the lack of a specific regulatory framework for PE/VC and lack of local institutional capital. However, the country continues to attract a number of investments in seed and early stage deals, especially in the IT sector.
Overall Latin America continues to perform strongly, both in its macroeconomic outlook and level of PE/VC activity. Fundraising by PE/VC firms investing in Latin America reached a historic record of $10.3 bln in 2011, according to 2012 LAVCA Industry Data.
The annual Scorecard ranks 12 Latin American countries based on 13 indicators including taxation, minority shareholder rights, restrictions on institutional investors and capital markets development. The regional countries are benchmarked against four markets outside the region – UK, Israel, Spain and Taiwan.
The seventh edition of the LAVCA Scorecard was produced in collaboration with the Economic Intelligence Unit, the Multilateral Investment Fund and the Andean Development Corporation. It is available for download on the LAVCA website. New this year, LAVCA is launching an online platform with information from the 2012 Scorecard, developed by Latin American startup Junar. Access will be available this week.
About the Latin American Venture Capital Association
The Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to supporting the growth of private equity and venture capital in Latin America and the Caribbean. LAVCA’s membership is comprised of over 130 firms, from leading global investment firms active in the region to local fund managers from Mexico to Argentina. Member firms control assets in excess of US$50 billion, directed at capitalizing and growing Latin American businesses. LAVCA’s mission – to spur regional economic growth by advancing venture capital and private equity investment – is accomplished through programs of research, networking forums, education and advocacy of sound public policy. More information at www.lavca.org
The Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) has as one of its primary goals the promotion of inclusive growth through private sector development. An independent trust fund administered by the Inter-American Development Bank, MIF has been a pioneer in the Region for seed and venture capital investments. Through the funds in which MIF invested, over 300 small businesses and start-ups have received long-term equity financing and this has been translated into job creation and direct benefits to the countries’ economies. Learn more at www.iadb.org/mif
CAF is a Latin American financial institution established in 1970 with the aim of promoting sustainable development and regional integration. The institution promotes quality sustainable growth in the region by financing projects in the public and private sectors, as well as the provision of technical cooperation and other specialized services. CAF, consisting of 18 countries in Latin America, Caribbean, Europe and 14 private banks, is a major source of multilateral financing and a major generator of knowledge for the region. For more information, visit www.caf.com
About the Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is part of the Economist Group, the leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs. Founded in 1946 as an in-house research unit for The Economist newspaper, we deliver business intelligence, forecasting and advice to over 1.5m decision-makers from the world’s leading companies, financial institutions, governments and universities. Our analysts are known for the rigor, accuracy and consistency of their analysis and forecasts, and their commitment to objectivity, clarity and timeliness.
Learn more at www.eiu.com
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