Japanese M&As up in Southeast Asia

JIJI

Mergers and acquisitions by Japanese companies have been growing in Southeast Asia at a record-breaking pace this year, according to M&A consultancy Recof Corp.

From January to October, domestic companies acquired stakes in or took over Southeast Asian firms in 75 cases, more than the record 72 cases in the same 10-month period recorded in 2011. The number is thus set to pass that year’s total of more than 80 cases.

Meanwhile, reflecting soured Japan-China relations, M&As by Japanese companies have been on the decline in China, with the number in 2013 projected to be the lowest in 12 years, Recof said.

M&As by Japanese firms in Asia excluding Japan, however, were brisk in the period at 155 cases, second after 173 in the same period of 2011, when an annual record was set, as an increase in Southeast Asia offset a decrease in China. M&As by Japanese firms in Asia peaked in 2011, when the yen jumped to a postwar high against the dollar. It remained strong until autumn 2012.

The yen’s rapid fall slowed the M&A pace from that of the past two years, but Japanese firms remain active in Asia.