A total of $234 billion of M&A was announced during the last six months of 2012, setting a half-year record for deal volume in the region, according to Dealogic.
Big deals such as Cnooc's $15.1 billion acquisition of Nexen and Heineken’s $4.6 billion acquisition of Asia Pacific Breweries helped drive a 25% increase from the $187.5 billion announced in the first half, even though the number of deals was the lowest since the first half of 2009 — during the depths of the financial crisis.
One of the year’s last big deals to be announced, Charoen Pokphand's $9.4 billion acquisition of a 15.6% stake in Ping An from HSBC, which is now in question, pushed cross-border volumes to $75.7 billion, more than double the $36.1 billion of deals during the first half of the year. That represents the second-highest half-year volume on record since the first half of 2008, which was a shade higher at $76.4 billion.
Domestic M&A volume rose 4% to $158.1 billion, up from $151.5 billion during the first half, $100 million more than the previous record set in the second half of 2010.
China was the most active nation with $96 billion of M&A, up 10% from the first half and less than $1 billion short of the half-year record set in the second half of 2011.
Goldman Sachs topped Dealogic’s Asia (ex-Japan) M&A adviser ranking, followed by Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan.