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Growing nations draw deal activity

17 мая 2010

Multinational companies are this year putting big efforts into foreign acquisitions in emerging economies – with groups based in emerging countries playing an increasingly active role.

The business world is coming out of last year’s recession to focus on mergers and acquisitions in the fast-recovering economies of the developing world rather than the sluggish economies of the US, Europe and Japan.

According to business information group Dealogic, cross-border acquisitions in emerging countries have totalled $137bn in the year so far – compared with $179bn in the whole of 2009.

Planned acquisitions of companies in emerging markets in cross-border deals in 2010 amount to 40 per cent of global cross-border M&A, compared to 23.6 per cent last year, according to Dealogic.

Analysts say this trend is set to continue, with companies based in emerging markets, headed by China and India, becoming ever more active.

Yael Selfin, head of macro-consulting at PwC, the management consultancy, says: “The propensity of multinationals generally to invest in new markets fell last year. But we expect a pick-up in 2010. Multinationals from emerging markets are particularly active because they benefit from strong growth in their home markets, unlike their western counterparts. Western companies have their slow home markets working against them.”

So far this year, companies based in emerging markets have announced acquisitions in other emerging economies worth $44.2bn, according to Dealogic – this is almost as much as the $44.4bn worth of deals they have announced for the developed world.

For comparison, in the pre-crisis peak year of 2007, emerging market companies announced acquisitions valued at $182.9bn in the developed world, easily topping cross-border deals made in other emerging markets, which totalled $132.5bn.

Acquisitions in emerging markets by developed world companies in the year so far have reached $92.3bn, says Dealogic. Although this is far ahead of the $44.2bn figure for emerging markets companies, the long-term trend is for those emerging world companies to increase their share of such deals. In 2000, they announced $20.3bn cross-border deals in emerging markets, says Dealogic.

The most popular target market across 2009 and 2010 is China. However, big single deals can affect the totals, notably the $10.7bn Bharti Airtel deal which has put Kenya in first place in 2010.

The emerging markets companies with the largest acquisitions tally come from China, including Hong Kong, with a combined total this year of $16.3bn.

The race to acquire natural resources is intense with Chinese, Indian and Brazilian companies all active. The largest natural resources deal this year saw CNOOC, the Chinese state oil company, buy 50 per cent of Bridas, the Argentine oil and gas group, for $3.1bn. Guinea in west Africa has attracted two big planned deals: Chinalco of China is buying a 50 per cent stake in part of the giant Simandou iron ore project for $1.35bn, while Vale, Brazil’s iron and steel company, is paying $2.5bn for 51 per cent of another slice of the same deposit.

While Chinese multinationals are dominant among emerging market multinationals today, PwC forecasts in a report published this month that Indian companies could overtake them in 15 years. Ms Selfin says that India, having liberalised its economy later than China, is now catching up. “India has greater potential because it is more open.”

There is no turning back for emerging market multinationals. “The big change is that emerging multinationals have stopped focusing on their home countries and their regions. They now invest globally,” says Ms Selfin.

Источник: Financial Times

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