Carlyle’s Rubenstein: Where we’re not investing

Dec 12, 2012

FORTUNE -- The Carlyle Group (cg) is bearish toward private equity investments in Russia and Mexico, according to comments made by firm co-founder David Rubenstein during a NY Times Dealbook conference.

"We think Russia may be attractive to visit as a tourist, but it's very difficult to make a lot of money there -- few private equity investors have... We think Mexico has a great economy, but there are very few things to buy in Mexico so we have not been too active as of late."

Carlyle launched a Russia-focused fund back in 2004, but never ultimately raised it. The firm did raise a Mexico-focused fund in 2005, but its executives later spun out into an independent shop called EMX Capital (and continued to manage the assets).

On the flip-side, Rubenstein continued his recent tendency to talk up U.S. opportunities, in part based on his belief that a fiscal cliff solution will buoy the broader markets (not because of what the deal may specifically contain, but just the confidence sparked by D.C. pols reaching some sort of agreement). He also expressed interest in non-European assets from European banks, and companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Carlyle continues to market a $10 billion global buyout fund.

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