Global finance M&A activity in 2016 hits seven-year high, with London Stock Exchange deal pushing UK to top of sector

William Turvill
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(FILES) The London Stock Exchange logo i
The London Stock Exchange is being targeted for a merger with Deutsche Boerse (Source: Getty)

Global finance mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity is at its highest year-to-date level since 2009, according to new figures.

And the UK has been the leading nation for finance-targeted M&A so far in 2016, according to Dealogic.

Between 1 January and 14 March this year, the volume of reported finance-targeted M&A has been $56.2bn (£39.6bn). This is up 29 per cent on the $43.5bn figure recorded in the same period last year.

Read more: Chinese investment up in Europe, down in UK

It means the finance sector is the third most targeted globally, accounting for nine per cent of M&A volume so far this year.

In 2015, Dealogic reported that global finance M&A hit $377.6bn - the highest figure since 2009’s $417.1bn.

The surge in volume has been driven by 13 $1bn-plus deals totalling $43.3bn. This is up 60 per cent year on year. In contrast, the number of deals valued at less than $1bn have dropped 22 per cent to a total value of $12.9bn.

Dealogic said the UK, for the first time on record, is the leading target country with a record $16.2bn agreed across 22 deals. This is up from $3.7bn across 39 deals in the same period last year.

The UK’s performance was primarily led by Deutsche Boerse’s proposed merger with the London Stock Exchange.

Read more: LSE and Deutsche Boerse to set out merger savings plan

Meanwhile, other Dealogic figures seen by City A.M. show that China’s outbound M&A so far in 2016 is already close to beating the record amount for the whole of 2015.

So far in 2016, 145 deals worth a combined $102bn have been announced. According to Dealogic, the record total for 2015 was $106bn across 609 deals.

This year's figure was pushed up after Anbang Insurance Group announced a $12.8bn bid for Starwood Hotels and Resorts on Monday.​