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Global M&A activity surges towards record high

[LONDON] Global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have climbed close to a record high this year, accelerated by a trio of multibillion-dollar deals in the US, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The largest of these was Warren Buffet's US$30 billion-plus purchase of Precision Castparts, announced on Monday. The takeover is the biggest by Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway .

So far this year, US$2.9 trillion in deals have been announced globally, only 3 per cent below the US$3 trillion record peak in 2007.

Domestic M&A in the US has reached a total of US$1.4 trillion, a 62 per cent increase on this time last year.

Acquisitions of US companies account for almost half of the total worldwide value of deals in dollars terms.

In the Asia Pacific region, dealmaking is off to its best start for the year since records began, outpacing Europe for the first time and making up 23 per cent of global dealmaking.

But on Tuesday, the Chinese central bank devalued its currency, causing volatility across global financial markets.

It is unclear yet whether these measures, coupled with a slowdown in China, could diminish the appetite for takeovers in the region.