UK lags Europe as deal activity set to improve on the continent

 
Tim Wallace
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BRITISH financiers are among the gloomiest in Europe, according to a study out today from Mergermarket and law firm CML.

One-fifth expect merger and acquisition deal volumes to fall next year, the most downbeat in Europe and on a par with those based in Spain and Portugal.

And just 44 per cent expect deal levels to improve, a lower proportion than seen in areas like the Nordics, the Germanic nations and in central and eastern Europe. Across Europe 47 per cent expect increased activity.

On the economy, the British are also pessimistic – 56 per cent believe the worst of the sovereign debt crisis is not over, again the highest level except for those in Spain and Portugal.

No respondents were very positive on growth, while 16 per cent are negative on the economy, making the UK and Ireland the gloomiest of all.

“The UK and Ireland have posted languid dealmaking figures throughout 2013 so far,” said the report. “In the first half of 2013, deal volume dropped 18 per cent on the year to 519 deals, and deal value declined 26 per cent to €56.8bn (£48.5bn).”