London: Multinationals see China, India and South East Asia as the most attractive destinations for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity over the next 18 months, Marsh and McLennan Companies Inc. said in a report on Monday.
Despite viewing China, India and South East Asia as almost as risky for investments as Africa, 57% of executives surveyed for the report described their interest in the area as significant or very significant, the report found.
It said questionable business practices, problems with the local intellectual property regime and insufficient financial recourse against sellers were cited as areas of concern.
“Despite the perceived risks of investing in this region, the level of M&A activity in recent years suggests that the expected reward is much stronger,” said Karen Beldy Torborg, Global Head of Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Practice, in the report.
The report draws on a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit on the attitudes to cross-border deals of 670 executives.
For North America, 43% of respondents described potential interest as significant or very significant while the figure was 41% for western Europe, 31% for eastern Europe, 29% for Latin America and 27% for West Asia.
Executives gave China, India and South East Asia an average risk rating of 5.3 out of 8 for business-critical risks.