Tying The Knot On Foreign Soil

Sharp currency shifts are whetting corporate appetites for global mergers and acquisitions, reports KPMG Peat Marwick. The firm's latest tally indicates that the value of cross-border deals in the first half of 1995 totaled $110.9 billion, up 25% from last year's first half.

U.S. companies remained the biggest buyers, raising outlays by nearly $6 billion, to $25.6 billion, but the low dollar inspired foreign companies to boost U.S. spending by nearly $12 billion, to more than $39 billion. Strong currencies seem to have inspired the Germans and Japanese to quadruple outlays, to $15.8 billion and $9.1 billion, respectively.

After the U.S., the leading investment targets in terms of deal value were Britain ($14.2 billion) and Russia ($9.3 billion), which benefited from an Exxon Corp. $4.6 billion joint venture. The U.S. also led in number of deals, snaring 410, followed by China's 339.

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