Investment in UK firms hits its lowest level since 2014
Corporate deal-making has slumped in the first three months of 2017 as overseas investment in UK firms tumbled to its lowest level for more than two years.
Overseas firms completed 40 deals to buy or merge with UK firms worth £5.1bn in the first quarter - a fraction of the £50.4bn a year earlier and the lowest value since the end of 2014.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of deals between UK firms also dropped to 48 from 93 a year earlier and down from 90 in the previous quarter. There were just 26 acquisitions of foreign companies by UK firms worth £1.9bn, the lowest value recorded for more than three years.
Overall, there were 127 domestic and cross-border deals completed in the first quarter. It comes amid Brexit uncertainty, which is seeing many companies put investment decisions on hold, and follows the pound's slump since the EU referendum.