Belfast Telegraph

Foreign investment hit record high in 2016 after big takeover deals

Net flows of foreign direct investment into the UK rocketed from £25.3 billion in 2015 to £145.6 billion in 2016.

Foreign investment into Britain hit a record high last year as inflows were buoyed by a trio of blockbuster takeovers.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that net flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the UK rocketed from £25.3 billion in 2015 to £145.6 billion in 2016, the year of the Brexit vote.

It is the largest figure recorded since 2006, when the ONS first started recording the data.

The statistics body put the jump down to high-value takeover deals in 2016, including the acquisitions of SABMiller, ARM Holdings and BG Group.

Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev’s £79 billion takeover of SABMiller was the biggest deal in UK corporate history.

The biggest deal to take place in 2016 after the Brexit vote was Japanese firm Softbank’s £24.3 billion takeover of British tech firm ARM.

Prior to the vote, Shell completed its £36 billion takeover of BG.

Economists and financial institutions have warned that the UK risks losing its position as the top European destination for foreign investment as concerns over Brexit continue.

Conversely, the collapse in the pound following the Brexit vote has meant British takeover targets are cheaper for dollar and euro-denominated buyers.

Europe and the Americas accounted for 56.3% and 34.4% of total UK inward FDI positions respectively in 2016, both increases on the previous year.

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