BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Private equity (PE) investment in China totaled 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, 65 percent of which went to inland provinces, according to a recent study conducted by global management consulting firm Bain & Company and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC).
The study, published on Tuesday, showed that China continues to be the top destination for PE investment in Asia and is on par with mature economies such as Japan and Australia.
Total PE investment has nearly doubled from 8.5 billion U.S.dollars in 2009, currently accounting for 0.2 percent of China's GDP. A comparable ratio is seen in Europe (0.3 percent) and the U.S. (0.5 percent), according to the study.
"Private equity is helping to fuel growth in China, particularly among small- and medium-sized businesses, which are integral to China's economy," said Han Weiwen, a consultant at Bain & Company.
Small-sized PE-backed firms have outperformed their publicly-listed peers, with the revenue growth rates for smaller companies nearly three times larger than those of listed companies, the study said.
"I noted that a stunning 65 percent of all PE investment went to inland provinces," said Andre Loesekrug-Pietri, chairman of the EUCCC's PE and M&A strategic working group.
"PE activity in China will blossom as global conditions improve, and PE firms will continue to adopt the best practices from around the world," Loesekrug-Pietri added.