M&A in China and Australia could push regional activity to record highs

Mergers and acquisitions in Asia-Pacific are hurtling ahead at full speed, and continued private-equity interest in China and Australia is likely to push activity to fresh records this year.

In 2006, deal volumes in the region--excluding Japan--surged more than 50% to US$385.4 billion, smashing the previous record of US$249.5 billion set the prior year. Australia and China led the drive, fueled by an influx of funds from private-equity players and buyout houses. And the brakes are unlikely to
be applied just yet.

Standard Poor's Ratings Services expects MA activity to accelerate this year, given favorable economic and market conditions. At the same time, increasing volatility in...

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