May 29, 2017 / 3:44 AM / 2 months ago

Bain Capital makes China foray with $200 mln NPL portfolio purchase

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HONG KONG, May 29 (Reuters) - Bain Capital said on Monday it has agreed to buy a portfolio of non-performing loans worth $200 million in principal from a Chinese asset management company, the latest move by international investors seeking a piece of the booming market for distressed debt in the world's second-largest economy.

Bain Capital Credit made the investment as part of its special situations strategy in Asia, the company said in a statement.

The portfolio of real estate-related loans, including loans linked to commercial retail assets, hotels and industrial assets, was Bain's first purchase in China, said a person familiar with the deal who declined to be identified because details of the transaction are not public.

The loans were previously with China's biggest distressed debt manager China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, the person said. Huarong did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment, whereas Bain declined to comment.

When distressed debt investors buy non-performing loans, they typically pay a few cents on the dollar for the assets, meaning Bain may have spent as little as $10 million for the loans based on the value of previous transactions.

The U.S. firm had been looking to raise $1 billion in its first Asia-focused credit fund, Reuters reported in February. Bain had previously invested in the region in distressed debt and so-called special situations transactions through its global funds. (Reporting by Elzio Barreto)

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