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.
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.