Global merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the first half of 2017 increased 8.4% by value, despite 1,117 fewer deals compared with the same period last year.

Deal value in the six months to June amounted to $1.49 trillion across 8,052 transactions. In the same period last year, 9,169 M&A transactions worth $1.38 trillion were recorded.

Companies have been looking at ‘future-proofing’ themselves in the backdrop of rapid technological and political changes as they seek to stay ahead of rivals. The first half of the year witnessed 17 megadeals (greater than $10 billion), versus 14 such deals in the first half of 2016.

European M&A activity surged in the first half, accounting for a 32.3% share of the global M&A value.

The US ($602.6 billion, 2,446 deals) saw its share drop to 40.4% in the first half of this year from 42.8% in the same period last year.

Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) recorded 1,585 deals valued at $272.9 billion in the first half of 2017, representing a 7% decline by deal value compared to the same period last year ($293.5 billion, 1,724 deals). The region’s share of deal value fell to 18.3% from 21.3%.

China, which accounted for 49.1% of Asian deals, saw a drop of 23.8% by value with $134 billion across 675 transactions, compared with $175.9 billion worth of deals (774 transactions) in the first half of 2016 when the country accounted for 59.9% of the region’s M&A activity.

In comparison with the first half of 2016, Asia-Pacific’s outbound deal value decreased by 58.1% to $55.7 billion across 268 transactions. Tightened outbound M&A controls imposed by Chinese regulators dampened the deal flow from China (112 deals, $35.5 billion), with a significant impact on large-ticket deals.

American investment banks dominated the global M&A league table for the first half of 2017. Goldman Sachs retained its position at the top of the league table with M&A deals worth $449.4 billion (148 deals)—it was the top M&A banker in three geographies: the US, Europe and Africa & Middle East.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were formed the rest of the top five in the M&A league table for the first half of 2017.