King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has advised two investors on their investments into a government-backed private equity fund, known as the Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund (the fund), to support technological innovation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The fund is seeking to raise between HK$5 billion and HK$30 billion in aggregate commitments from investors.
The fund was launched in December 2018 and witnessed by Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR and Zhanghong Hu, Chief Executive Officer of Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments.
The fund will make investments in high-tech industries within the GBA to promote innovative start-ups in technological fields and to help companies to export products to expand to overseas markets. It will set up a data platform, providing information about patents, intellectual property transactions and world experts. The fund will also help technology companies set up laboratories and research centres in Hong Kong, consolidating Hong Kong's competitive edge in medical health, artificial intelligence and medical technology.
The fund will seek to make investments in the following types of projects:
- New GBA development: Development of infrastructure, facilities for a better lifestyle circle, smart intelligence facilities, transportation and communication, and dataport;
- Scientific and technological innovation: including investment opportunities in internet, hardware, software/applications and blockchain;
- Industrial upgrading: including, without limitation, investment opportunities associated in the new strategic industries; and
- Consumption upgrade: investments in education, culture, entertainment, media, logistics, communication, healthcare, residential and tourism.
The fund is part of the PRC's Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (the "Outline") to integrate the finance, manufacturing and technology capabilities of the Hong Kong SAR, the Macao SAR and the municipalities of the Guangdong province, allowing greater economic cooperation and development in the region.
The GBA comprises the Hong Kong SAR, the Macao SAR, as well as nine cities (Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing) in the Guangdong province, covering a total area of 56,000 square kilometres with a combined population of approximately 70 million.