Resolving Brexit uncertainty is top priority for British investors says survey

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Private equity deals in the UK paused after Brexit before rebounding this year (Source: Getty)

British investors believe resolving uncertainty over Brexit is the number one priority for politicians trying to boost investment, according to a survey to be published today.

Some 37 per cent of British investors said addressing the uncertainty would be the best way to boost attractiveness for foreign investors, according to a survey by Invest Europe, a lobby group for the private equity and venture capital industries.

The volume of private equity deals in the UK fell sharply in the aftermath of the Brexit vote as investors awaited clarity on future trade policy and the economic impact: Preqin data showed 201 completed transactions in the UK in the first half of 2017, down from 315 a year earlier.

Read more: London lost its crown for bringing in the private equity cash last quarter

The Invest Europe survey found a significant divergence in opinion on the effects of Brexit between investors in different countries, with 58 per cent of Chinese investors saying they were actually more likely to invest in the UK after Brexit.

That compared to 55 per cent of German investors and 52 per cent of French investors who said that the Brexit vote made them less likely to invest in the UK in the next five years.

The UK remains a key market for private equity investment, attracting 31 per cent of of the €18.7bn (£16.7bn) invested in European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) businesses between July and September, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The same data showed investment in the third quarter of 2017 doubled compared to the equivalent period in 2016, reaching €5.8bn.

Lower taxes were the top concern for private equity investors in France, China and the US, according to the survey, with only Germany otherwise bucking the trend.

Michael Collins, chief executive of Invest Europe, said: “There is clearly robust appetite among global investors for European investment opportunities but policymakers need to consider what more they can do to attract capital.”

Read more: The private equity industry thinks a soft Brexit will help raise funds

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