The state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) has shortlisted five managers for private equity mandates totaling 170 billion won ($152.3 million) that will focus on investment opportunities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

STIC Investments, Affirma Capital, Eastbridge Partners, a consortium of SV Investment and Shenzhen Capital Group and a consortium of Woori Private Equity and LX Investment have advanced to the next stage in the competition, according to an announcement posted on the bank’s website on Monday (November 9).

KDB will commit the money to three funds, with the biggest portion of 140 billion won allocated to two funds in the large fund category (a fund size larger than 300 billion won). STIC, Affirma Capital and Eastbridge Partners will compete in this category.

The other two candidates are competing for one mandate of 30 billion won in the smaller fund category, which requires the fund to raise 100 billion won or more.

Interviews and on-site due diligence of the shortlisted candidates will start this week, with final selections expected in December.

The investment mandates are aligned with the government’s New Southern Policy, which aims to pursue stronger ties with ASEAN economies. Each of the funds will need to invest at least 150% of the amount committed by KDB in South Korean companies seeking to expand into the region or ASEAN firms that have a business relationship with South Korean companies. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)