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Asean shopping spree

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the focus is on South and Southeast Asia this year, according to a business leaders survey commissioned by Bank of America Merrill Lynch

While 62% of the chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed said they prefer organic growth over M&A, the remaining 38% will look to emerging Asean-countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, as well as South Asia.
Interest in China has waned, with only 15% of CFOs indicating interest, compared to 24% in last year’s survey, the report said.
“Investment interest in Southeast Asia and India is holding up, despite Fed tapering concerns,” said Chua Hak Bin, head of Emerging Asia Economics at the bank.
“The tail risk seems to be China this year, where investors have turned more cautious. Concerns over shadow banking and more trust defaults will likely weigh on confidence for the rest of the year.”
More than three-quarters of respondents expect their revenues to increase in 2014, up from 72% in last year’s survey.

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