Mergers and acquisitions here more than double to $47.7b

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity totalled US$35.3 billion (S$47.7 billion) in Singapore last year, a report noted yesterday.

The increase - more than double the 2018 total - came despite a 5 per cent drop in deal count to 134, compared with 141 in 2018, noted data firm Mergermarket.

It added that geopolitical uncertainties reinforced Singapore's status as a "safe haven" for international investors.

Singapore recorded the highest amount of bank deposits from people outside the country since 2016 - at US$36.3 billion as of the end of October.

Singapore investment firm Temasek was a "key M&A player". Last October, it proposed the acquisition of a 30.5 per cent stake in Keppel Corporation for $4.08 billion, making it the third-largest M&A deal in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan last year.

Last January, it sold Ascendas-Singbridge to developer CapitaLand for $11 billion.

Overall, M&A activity in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan stood at US$565.3 billion across 3,735 deals last year - the lowest value since 2013 and the smallest deal count since 2014.

China and Hong Kong - the largest contributor to M&A activity in Asia, saw its global market share shrink to 8.8 per cent from 11.4 per cent a year ago. Deal value, meanwhile, fell 27.6 per cent year on year to US$294.5 billion. Volume fell 17.2 per cent to 1,735 deals.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2020, with the headline 'Mergers and acquisitions here more than double to $47.7b'. Print Edition | Subscribe