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Dealmaking picks up pace in high-growth markets: KPMG

THE number of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals between developed and high-growth markets grew for the second half-year in a row, according to a report by KPMG.

Singapore was among the most popular targets for high-growth-market acquirers who were buying into developed countries, but the developed country's companies were also among the most active acquirers of businesses among its high-growth neighbours in South-east Asia, the report found.

There were 1,020 completed M&A deals in the second half of 2014 that involved companies from 13 high-growth markets. That comprised inbound and outbound deals from and to 15 developed markets, as well as deals that stayed within the high-growth economies.

The second-half deal number was a 9.2 per cent increase from the 934 deals in the first half of 2014, and a 10.4 per cent increase from the year-ago count of 924 deals.

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Of the deals in the latest half, 60.9 per cent were by companies in developed markets buying businesses in high-growth countries. The 621 investments into high-growth markets were an 11 per cent increase from the first half of the year.

Deals that involved South-east Asian targets climbed 46 per cent half-on-half, among the biggest jumps in the half.

Hong Kong and Singapore, which are considered developed markets, were the most active developed-market acquirers in South-east Asia in the second half of 2014.

But Singapore also saw an 80 per cent rise in the number of inbound investments by companies from high-growth regions. That easily outpaced the global average, as the number of high-growth to developed deals rose just 9 per cent to 255 deals in the second half.