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Outlook for cross-border mergers positive

By Cheng Yu | | Updated: 2017-10-30 14:57

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions are expected to pick up despite sluggish turnover, with China and the US acting as driving forces, an industry report said.

According to the report of Brunswick Group, a global public relations firm, 58 percent of interviewees among over 100 professionals interviewed anticipate an increase in the number of cross-border deals in the next 12 months, while 31 percent of them expect it to be the same as last year.

More than 70 percent of interviewees believe that China and the US will be the most active countries driving outbound acquisitions, while Europe follows in third.

Currently, global cross-border mergers and acquisitions is experiencing a depression. Data from financial markets platform Dialogic showed that global cross-border mergers and acquisitions declined by 7 percent in the first three quarters of 2017.

"Despite all the rhetoric against globalization, our study shows that there is cautious optimism for cross-border mergers and acquisitions," said Tim Payne, Senior Partner and Head of Asia at Brunswick Group.

Regional policies are seen by most interviewees as the main factor causing the optimistic expectations. In Asia, 68 percent of interviewees think that China's Belt and Road Initiative has a positive impact on deals while in the US, 50 percent of participants take tax policy as the most important driver.

On a global scale, cheap debt financing and excess cash on the balance sheet are recognized as the main force driving cross-border mergers and acquisitions in the future.

Moreover, more than half of the advisors expect technology will still be leading cross-border mergers and acquisitions, even though the past 12 months have shown a downturn in tech cross-border deals.

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