Japanese M&As abroad broke record high in 2013

JIJI

Mergers and acquisitions of foreign firms hit an all-time high of 527 in fiscal 2013, breaking the previous record of 501 in fiscal 2012, a survey by M&A advisory Recof Corp. says.

Japanese M&As targeting Asian companies accounted for 226, or about 40 percent, of the deals, with firms in Southeast Asia rising sharply.

M&A deals in Thailand and Singapore nearly doubled to 28 and 20, respectively, while deals also rose in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Among the biggest was Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s acquisition of Bank of Ayudhya in Thailand for about 170 billion baht, or ¥536 billion.

M&As targeting Chinese firms fell to 37, down three, the survey said. This was apparently because of fallout from strained ties between Japan and China.

Japanese M&As abroad have been on the rise since 2009, Recof said. The weakened yen has made overseas acquisitions costlier, but an official at a major brokerage house said trend is expected to continue, noting that foreign exchange rates are not a major factor affecting Japanese acquisition strategies abroad.

Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank, said that an increasing number of Japanese firms may decide to buy foreign companies before the yen is weakened further.