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Monthly Newsletter Issue 17 – September 2009

 

 

Leopard Cambodia Fund – Monthly Newsletter Issue 17 – September 2009

 

 

Announcing Leopard Sri Lanka Fund

 

Leopard Capital is pleased to announce the launch of Leopard Sri Lanka Fund LP in early 2010. After several decades of civil war, peace has finally returned to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, and a new investment cycle and growth upswing has begun. Leopard Sri Lanka Fund will provide expansion capital and strategic guidance to mid-market Sri Lankan companies, and also help some expand their businesses into other frontier economies. Leopard Sri Lanka will be led by Colombo-based investment experts Nirosh De Silva and Ramanan Govindasamy, backed by the growing resources and experience of Leopard Capital and Leopard Cambodia. To learn more please email our group marketing manager Mohamed Aslam, [email protected].

 

Leopard Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2009

 

 

Potential investors are invited to attend the inaugural Leopard Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2009 November 20-21 at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. An impressive line-up of speakers will present the exciting investment opportunities emerging in this post-conflict economy. Don’t miss this chance to get in early in another transitional market. For more details please email Mohamed Aslam above.

 

 

 

 

Leopard Cambodia Fund Update  


Our newest investor lifts Leopard Cambodia Fund LP (“LCF”)’s size to USD 28,655,000. We are also delighted to hear that several of our LPs are considering increasing their earlier commitments. Meanwhile our investment team has just sent up another round of investment proposals to our Investment Committee, and another drawdown may lie ahead. Looking through our investment pipeline, our targets of opportunity vastly exceed our Fund’s dry powder so Leopard Cambodia Fund remains open for new subscription through December 2009. Over the next two weeks Doug Clayton begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting will be visiting prospects in Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, New York, and Singapore; if you’d like to meet up anywhere let Aslam know. 


LCF Portfolio Notes

 

Having signed its lease of the former Nestle factory and surveyed the premises, Kingdom Breweries (“KB”) will next start to clean up and renovate the building, and a crew is being assembled for this. KB’s CEO, Peter Brongers has set up his office at the site, which includes a 3 story office block. Peter has recruited several local staff and he and KB chairman Jim Napier have started interviewing a shortlist of brew master candidates from a long global list of experienced applicants who responded to some brewing publication ads. Meanwhile, Cambodia Plantations is awaiting completion of an external Environmental Impact Assessment, the next step in finalizing its land concession. Greenside Holdings’ power grid construction should be completed soon, but anyway our monthly interest payments continue to arrive on schedule. Up in Siem Reap, the road crew at Angkor Residences awaits the end of the rainy season to complete the access road upgrade project.

 

 

 

 

New Staff

Jazz Gill joins Leopard Capital as Associate Partner focusing on technology and telecoms investments. His career includes 19 years of operational experience as an entrepreneur, CEO or senior executive at firms ranging from start-up ventures to established multinationals such as Motorola and Global Crossing. Jazz holds a MBA from Imperial College and is based in London.


Lawrence Mackhoul joins our Phnom Penh office on a three month internship. A MBA student at Georgia State University’s Robinson School of Business, Lawrence grew up in Honduras and headed a real estate investment company in Atlanta.

 

 

 

Outside Conferences 

Leopard Capital has been invited to address two upcoming conferences in Singapore, where we hope to see some of you.

AVCJ Private Equity and Venture Forum Southeast Asia 2009 will be held at the Fullerton Hotel Singapore Oct 7-9. This year’s theme is “Opportunities in Asia’s Emerging and Frontier Markets”, and you can contact
[email protected]  to register.


Tonkin Corporation’s Capital Raising Asia 2009 conference will be held November 23-25 at M Hotel, Singapore. The Conference aims to help companies plan their fundraising strategies and will include a post-conference workshop on mastering the IPO process. Click here for the program agenda, or email [email protected] to register.

 

 

 

In The News

  • Thailand will fund a $41 million upgrade of National Road 68 in Cambodia’s Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap provinces which will help facilitate border trade.
  • Cambodia’s strategic relationship with USA seems to be warming, with 1,500 US troops planning to come to Phnom Penh next year for a joint military exercise.
  • As of this month Cambodian rice exports to the EU are now duty-free, under the “Everything But Arms” initiative. Since the program excludes Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodian millers now have an advantage.
  • The IMF now projects 4.25% Cambodia GDP growth in 2010 following an expected 2.75% contraction in 2009. Tourism is already picking up a bit.

 

 

Visit Notes: KOH TONSAY,  by Douglas Clayton 

Since few outsiders have been to them it’s easy to forget that Cambodia has over 60 pristine islands dotting its coastline. I’ve been curious to investigate the Cambodian answer to Robinson Crusoe question: how do people make a living on an undeveloped tropical island? When I hear that locals are farming seaweed on Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island), and I decide to go check it out.


I bring along our trusty driver Sam, and at the small pier in Kep and we negotiate a boatman to take us out for the day for $20. He leads us to a long, open. “long-tail” boat, which I notice lacks any life preservers or radio, but it does have a red police light mounted on a frame which I guess makes it safe. The boat slices through the waves with surprising stability, and after a 25 minute ride we are jumping off at Koh Tonsay.


Tonsay’s main beach is long and nicely decorated with tall coconut trees. Side by side along the beach are six bungalow operators, each offering a dozen simple huts for intrepid travelers. “You get what you pay for” is a travel truism, and here $5 gets you a roof and walls of woven palm fronds (eco-friendly!), without unnecessary 5-star frills like electricity, fan, or mosquito nets (no carbon footprint!) However one operator’s sign advertises their bathrooms have toilet paper, which seems a promising start and perhaps for now gives them a massive competitive advantage. I decide my wife might not be enthusiastic to spend a holiday in one of these huts, although I notice a dozen or so guests contentedly reading their Lonely Planet guides along the beach.


Sam and I set off to hike around the island, which has zero automobiles but one muddy cowpath/trail. The trail circles around a 150 meter tall mini-mountain that occupies most of the island’s interior and is lushly carpeted by jungle. After mucking down the path for 20 minutes, we reach a second, smaller beach, which holds only a few randomly placed fishermen’s shacks but no seaweed farms or bungalows.


Next to one hut we watch a woman chopping up some fish with one hand while rhythmically shoeing away a grunting sow with her other hand; the smell of fish guts is making the pig quiver with excitement and it looks tempted to just dive in. Nearby a teenage girl sits in jeans under a mango tree watching three piglets root around a pile of old coconut shells. Although she’s living on a idyllic tropical island paradise, the girl looks bored, like teenagers everywhere. I briefly wonder if she has ever attended a school, as I don’t see any schools or health clinics to serve the 50-100 people living out there. But they do have access to 3G cell phone coverage, as I discover when my phone suddenly rings; it’s my wife checking if I’ve put on sunscreen which of course I’ve forgotten. The sun is getting scorching now and I realize I am getting fried, but no one is selling anything like lotion on this island.


Soon I’m getting scratched up as well as the trail winds back into the jungle and we have to stoop low to pass under thorny branches. Furthermore my new sandals begin to blister my feet. Sam, a rugged Cambodian war veteran, seems comfortable moving through the jungle although I suspect he wishes I had issued him a machete to carry instead of a wimpy rolled-up umbrella.


Finally we reach the seaweed area, so here’s the context. In the past islanders subsisted by catching fish, raising some animals, and picking coconuts and mangos. Over the past decade they’ve learned to supplement their income by not only renting out bungalows to backpackers but also by farming Eucheuma cottonii seaweed. The seaweed gets processed into carrageenan, an ingredient in all sorts of popular products from ice cream to toothpaste to “personal lubricants”. I see hundreds of plastic bottles bobbing in the warm shallow waters off the back of the island; the bottles buoy a grid of nylon lines on which eucheuma is planted. After a few months it is harvested by pruning and sun dried on long homemade tables onshore, before being sold to a Malaysian company that supplies it to the US. In one area, I watch local women sorting seaweed and exchanging gossip (see photo below).


We resume our march and pass by a simple concrete box, windowless except for a slit on one side. At first I think it’s a water storage tank donated by a NGO, but Sam tells me it’s a military bunker, which must have been built by the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975 when they were launching commando raids on nearby Phu Quoc island to try to seize it from fellow communist Vietnam. The bunker is the only historical building we see on Koh Tonsay. Suddenly the trail ends abruptly at a shack with a small private beach. Four kids are splashing around in giant life vests that seem as tall as them, while their father sits on his porch, smoking a cigarette and watching the seaweed grow. Sam asks him for a boat lift back to the main beach and he quotes us a hefty $6 for the short ride; clearly he has stumbled on a steady income stream simply by locating his house at the end of the trail. He delegates the ferrying task to his teenage son who is lounging nearby on a hammock, and the boy reluctantly bails out their little boat which is alarmingly full of water. We set off in the wobbly craft and the engine dies within minutes, but the boy somehow gets it restarted and finally delivers us intact.


Like most of Cambodia’s better islands, Koh Tonsay has been awarded as a long term concession to a local business group, so one day it will probably have some boutique hotels on it, and all the seaweed sorters will be wearing housekeeping uniforms and their husbands will be pushing lawnmowers. But I’m glad to have seen it as it was, and still is.

 

 

 

Picture of the Month: The Seaweed Sorters, by Douglas Clayton  

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER 

 

This document does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to invest in Leopard Cambodia Fund LP and/ or Leopard Cambodia Investments (BVI) Ltd. (collectively, “our Funds”) We will not make such offer or solicitation prior to the delivery of a definitive offering memorandum and other materials relating to the matters herein. Before making an investment decision with respect to our Funds, we advise potential investors to read carefully the respective offering memorandum, the limited partnership agreement or operating agreement, and the related subscription documents, and to consult with their tax, legal, and financial advisors. We have compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee its correctness. We present our opinions without warranty. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. © 2009 Leopard Capital LP. All rights reserved.

In this Issue 

Leopard Sri Lanka

Leopard Cambodia

New Staff

Conferences

In The News

Visit Notes

Picture of the Month

 

 

Quick Links   

 

Leopard in the News: Media articles about Leopard Cambodia Fund and Cambodia are posted on our website; click here. 

 

 

The NAV of Leopard Cambodia Investments (BVI) Ltd as of 30th August 2009 is USD 1,012.76 (31st July 2009 USD 1,012.04)

 

 

Investing in LCF via a Self Invested Personal Pension Plan (SIPP):  

UK taxpayers can invest in LCF via a SIPP and enjoy certain tax advantages.

Hornbuckle Mitchell is our SIPP provider:

www.hornbucklemitchell.co.uk

Contact their Asia SIPP expert

Stephen Davis at:
[email protected]

 

Leopard Cambodia Fund, LP  

Fund size:  

USD 28,655,000 

 

ISIN No:  

KYG5458L1023 

 

CUSIP No:

G5458L102

 

Valoren No:

003811078

 

Bloomberg:

LEOPARD KY

 

Lipper ID:

65096323

   

Leopard Cambodia Investments (BVI) Ltd.   

 

Fund size:

USD 18,380,000

 

ISIN No:

VGG5458M1005  

 

CUSIP No:

G5458M100

 

Valoren No:

003884357

 

Bloomberg:

LEOBVIL VI

 

Lipper ID:

65096324