The UK is the world’s most attractive place for investment and for merger and acquisition activity for the first time in decade, despite Brexit-uncertainty.
The UK topped the list of investment destinations in EY’s biannual Global Capital Confidence Barometer poll of 2,900 senior executives responsible for making acquisitions.
In the consultancy’s latest poll the UK’s top position put it ahead of the United States, Germany, China, France, Canada, India, Australia, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.
The lowest position the UK has been in the survey was seventh- in October 2016.
According to the report, UK M&A activity remained strong since the referendum. Last year, the UK accounted for 10 per cent of M&A globally, worth a combined $400bn last year. This marked the second-best year for the UK since the financial crisis, according to the survey.
Globally it showed an overall positive attitude towards M&A is underpinned by broader corporate confidence.
Financial services was the third most sought-after sector in the UK after consumer products and retail, and industrials, EY says.
The report states there is currently a period of consolidation within the financial services and the automotive sector across Europe.
EY global vice chair – transaction advisory services Steve Krouskos says: “Geopolitical issues create significant challenges, but executives are determined to overcome perceived barriers and secure – or expand – their presence in markets that support their long-term strategic goals.
“While nationalism may fuel much political debate, technology has made the world a smaller place and executives remain international in their search for growth.”