As Mainland China managed to achieve a V-shape recovery in the economy post Covid-19, the burst in M&A activities since the second half of last year helped record a 52.6% full year increase compared to 2019. Deal-making in Mainland China in 2020 alone, mounted 56.5% year-on-year to USD 463.9bn, while Hong Kong M&A activity increased by 0.7% year-on-year to USD 22bn over the same period.
Beijing’s “dual circulation” strategy, designed to spur Mainland China’s domestic demand and facilitate foreign investment and boost exports simultaneously, is considered as a strong driver that beefing up domestic consolidation. Inbound deals across the mainland have rebounded by 112.3% last year. However, cross-border deal activities, though revived to some extent, are still facing challenges from prolonged lockdowns in a few deal destinations abroad. On the other hand, outbound activities saw another steep fall in 2020 by 48.6%.
Difficulties to conduct M&A transactions, especially physical management meetings and on-site due diligence, remain to be the biggest obstacles that dragged down the cross-border deal momentum.
In this live panel discussion with Freshfields, China Tourism International Corporation Limited and Citi, we take stock of M&A activity in Hong Kong and Mainland China and consider, outlook for the rest of the year.