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* Emerging market private equity volumes rise in 2010
* PE investment up 30 pct to $28.8 bln last year
* Emerging Asia top investment destination: $18.3 bln
* Latin America investment up 405 pct to $6.6 bln
By Daniel Bases
NEW YORK, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Private equity investment in emerging markets rose 30 percent in 2010 to $28.8 billion, driven by an increase in deal volume and a slight increase in transaction size, according to a survey released on Monday .
The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association reported that fund-raising held steady, increasing slightly to $23.5 billion from $22.6 billion in 2009.
There were 856 private equity and venture capital deals closed last year versus 674 in 2009, EMPEA's statement said.
For the first time since 2006, the amount of cash invested by private equity funds was higher than the amount they raised "suggesting that an improving investment environment is finally absorbing accumulating dry powder and that global pools of capital are zeroing in on the opportunities in emerging markets," EMPEA said.
For a related graphic, click r.reuters.com/jag97r
Emerging markets' share of global private equity fund-raising reached 11 percent, matching 2008 levels, as funds raised globally dropped to their lowest point since 2004.
"The recovery in the pace of investments is quicker in the emerging markets than anywhere else. We are still seeing pretty depressed fund-raising and investment activity globally. That is why I think the $28.8 billion is significant," Jennifer Choi, director of research at EMPEA told Reuters.
"The sub-bullet point is Latin America being a big reason for that. Obviously Asia is holding its own but Latin America certainly is capturing greater and greater interest from investors," she said.
According to Choi, in 2010 there were two record-breaking funds raised specifically for Latin America. Boston-based Advent International raised $1.65 billion while Southern Cross Group raised $1.68 billion, Choi said.
Last year, investment activity in Latin America surged 405 percent to $6.6 billion, due in large measure to investments from global pools of capital. Fund-raising for the region hit a record $5.6 billion.
While Latin America surged, emerging Asia remains the most favored region, closing deals worth $18.3 billion, or 64 percent of total capital invested in 2010. See table below.
"On the deal side, investments focused on growth and expansion capital will continue to dominate the landscape, and Brazil in particular is living up to last year's expectations as a compelling investment story," EMPEA's Chief Executive Officer Sarah Alexander said in the statement.
In comparison, deal volumes still remain below the $53 billion invested in 2007 and $48 billion in 2008.
EMPEA has 290 members with more than $900 billion in assets under management.
Below is a breakdown of regional deal volumes for 2009 and 2010:
Number Total Number Total
Of Capital Of Capital (in $USD millions) Deals Invested Deals Invested ============================================================== Emerging Asia 473 13,867 576 18,308 CEE & CIS 76 3,323 117 2,398 LatAm & Caribbean 54 1,318 92 6,648 MENA 34 2,215 23 793 Sub-Saharan Africa 37 1,383 48 631 ============================================================== Emerging Markets Total 674 22,104 856 28,778 BRICs Breakdown ============================================================== Brazil 20 989 53 4,604 China 233 6,288 276 9,190 India 176 4,011 251 6,222 Russia 20 217 45 1,516 Source: EMPEA * Data as of Dec. 31, 2010