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Global deal flows

Looking at geographical data, despite a general decline in activity, the U.S. continues to drive global activity, accounting for 48% of global transactions by value at USD1.7 trillion. 

While domestic deals dominate, the U.S. also remains both the biggest target market and acquirer in cross-border deals. 

By contrast, Europe is down significantly with the market at its weakest since 2017 accounting for 18% of global deals by value and Asia has not performed so poorly since 2014. However, within this Japan has seen a continued focus on outbound investment, investing over twice as much as China overseas. 

Demographic issues are driving this, with Japan's ageing population causing the domestic market to shrink and businesses recognising that the best way to achieve top line revenue growth is through M&A. 

MENA is also bucking the regional growth trend with a 134% rise in deal values, although the report notes this is largely due to Saudi Aramco's merger with SABIC. 

Despite political upheaval, there are positive signs in Latin America, notably Brazil where cross-border investors are increasingly active.