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H1 M&A deals in Singapore up 19% at US$33.8 billion

MERGER and acquisition (M&A) activity in Singapore in H1 2018 reached heights not seen since 2014 (US$54.6 billion), with the total value of deals up 19.1 per cent to US$33.8 billion from H1 2017, according to a first-half preliminary review on M&A activity published by Thomson Reuters.

The figure for H1 2018 - based on data accurate as at June 18 - was driven mostly by Q2 2018 activity, with deals amounting to US$21.6 billion, up 76.8 per cent from Q1 2018 and up 23.4 per cent from Q2 2017.

Average deal size also increased, as disclosed M&A deals grew to US$127.1 million in H1 2018 compared to US$86.8 million in the corresponding period in 2017.

Meanwhile, domestic M&A activity totalled US$3.8 billion, a 7.5 per cent increase in deal value from first half of 2017, despite number of domestic transactions down by 22.9 per cent.

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Across sectors, the property, financial and industrial sector together, accounted for three-quarters of domestic M&A activity in the first half. In particular, property deals (US$10.4 billion) accounted for 30.9 per cent of total domestic M&A activity.

Private equity-backed M&A in Singapore saw US$166.2 million worth of deals so far this year, the lowest first-half period in terms of deal value since 2013. However, the number of private equity-backed acquisitions grew 14.3 per cent.

Cross-border deal activity amounted to US$16.8 billion, an 11.8 per cent fall over the US$19 billion recorded in the same period last year, due in part to a 51.9 per cent decrease in inbound M&A activity to US$4.3 billion, the lowest first-half period since 2013.

Outbound M&A activity increased 24.5 per cent from the comparative period last year to US$12.4 billion, despite a 23.2 per cent decline in number of announced outbound acquisitions.