Private debt fund managers invest in debt positions of private companies through (1) new issuances or (2) secondary acquisition of loans. In the study reported here, we used data from more than 400 investments into private companies in 13 Asia-Pacific markets between 2001 and 2015 to examine which strategy performs best. Conditional on market and industry factors, trading private debt delivers higher returns than buying and holding a primary issuance. So, institutional investors should permit fund managers investment flexibility to trade. Furthermore, a portfolio of private debt investments delivers excess returns to public markets over time, with excess returns affected by volatility, funding liquidity, and the global financial crisis. An investment in Asia-Pacific private debt should improve risk-adjusted returns for a global or emerging market fixed-income portfolio.

About the Author(s)

Douglas Cumming

Douglas Cumming is DeSantis Distinguished Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship at the College of Business, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, and visiting professor, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham.

Grant Fleming

Grant Fleming is a partner at Continuity Capital Partners, Canberra, Australia.

Zhangxin (Frank) Liu

Zhangxin (Frank) Liu is assistant professor of accounting and finance at University of Western Australia Business School, Crawley, Australia.

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Published by CFA Institute


ISSN: 0015-198X

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