China, India and Southeast Asia is considered the most attractive region for M&A activity, despite the perception that investing in those countries is as risky as doing so in Africa, according to a recent Marsh, Mercer and Kroll survey of 670 senior executives at multinational companies worldwide.
Executives gauged business-critical risk in China, India and Southeast Asia on average at 5.3 out of a maximum of 8, with 8 being the riskiest, compared with 2.1 and 1.9 for North America and Western Europe, respectively; the Australia-Japan-Korea region was considered the least risky at 1.6. Still, 57% of respondents ranked their interest in M&A activity over the next 18 months in the China-India-Southeast Asia region as significant or very significant. That compares with 43% and 41%, respectively, for North America and Western Europe; Africa was at the bottom of the list at 19%. The survey, conducted in January, was released Monday.