Blackstone to cover private equity out of Hong Kong

US private equity firm Blackstone Group is expanding its Hong Kong office to cover private equity as well as its existing fund-of-hedge-fund activities in Asia.

Antony Leung has joined the firm as a senior managing director and chairman of Blackstone Greater China. He was financial secretary of Hong Kong from 2001 to 2003 and, before that, chairman, Asia at JP Morgan. Leung will co-head the expanded Hong Kong office along with Ben Jenkins, a senior managing director, who relocates with a team from New York.

Blackstone’s first office in Asia was set up in Mumbai in 2005 to handle private equity and real estate investments. That was followed by a satellite office in Hong Kong last year to support the firm’s fund-of-hedge-funds operations.

The firm said that while the main focus of the expanded office will be sourcing and managing new private equity transactions, the office will also help existing portfolio companies in entering or expanding in the region, and provide support for Blackstone’s other businesses.

Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman, chief executive and co-founder, said: “We are impressed by the impact of the economic reforms that have been taking place in the world’s fourth largest economy and elsewhere in that region. We believe significant foreign direct investment in the Chinese economy is vital to its continued growth and development, and look forward to playing an integral role in that process, not only in China but throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

Blackstone said it may open additional offices in the region as its business grows.

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