Belfast Telegraph

Asian investment in British tech sector 'could surge following Trump election'

Asian investors will turn their back on America and channel billions of pounds worth of investment into Britain's tech sector following the election of US President Donald Trump , an advisory firm said.

Europe's tech sector could see Far East investment double to a record 116 billion US dollars (£93 billion) this year, with the UK taking a significant slice of the capital, according to Magister Advisors.

The tech M&A specialists said Mr Trump's threat of punitive trade tariffs against China, coupled with the allure of cheaper UK deals driven by the Brexit-hit pound, will see Asian investors shift their focus from America to Europe.

Victor Basta, managing partner at Magister Advisors, said Asian capital "will be thinking twice before committing more money to the US".

"Much of the sentiment and rhetoric since the US election should concern any Asian corporate," he added.

" There is a feeling Asian corporates have benefited too much from US trade, and this needs to be redressed.

"Irrespective of how true this is or not, the fact is Asian corporates and investors are likely to be less welcome in the US in the next four years than in the last eight."

Mr Basta said European tech firms are crying out for more late-stage funding, while "an unprecedented number of quality tech companies" will be searching for a cash-injection in order to break even.

He believes this will see 2017 become a "watershed year" for Asian investment into European technology.

"Perversely we think the most active 'European' destination will be the UK," he added.

Dealmakers have seen a growing interest in British companies from US and Asian firms looking to capitalise on sterling's collapse following the EU referendum result.

Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank marked the biggest investment from Asia into the UK when it secured a £24 billion tie-up with ARM Holdings last year.

"Much of European tech is already more international than the US, making adaptation for Asian markets easier and less risky - because of smaller home markets European tech companies build platforms and models which are inherently more international than US counterparts," Mr Basta added.

" Last year Asian capital into European tech reached an all-time high of 58 billion US dollars (£46 billion).

"We believe 2017-18 could see a doubling of that, entirely transforming the European tech ecosystem."