BREXIT BOOST: European investment in UK more than DOUBLED since referendum

European investment in the UK has more than doubled since the 2016 Brexit vote (Image: GETTY)

According to S&P Capital IQ data, buyers in the EU have acquired 553 UK assets in the past year through mergers, acquisitions and private placements. Purchases of property, company and stakes in fast-growing firms have amounted to $31.1 billion. In 2017 European investment acquired 497 UK assets totalling $21.2 billion, and in 2016, 454 assets totalling $13.6 billion.

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After the referendum, poor UK stock performance and a weak pound sparked concern as to whether international investors would invest in Britain.

However, the figures show investors with a long-term outlook see Brexit as an opportunity.

Spencer Baylin at Clifford Chance told us : “Brexit is likely to have impacted the price of certain UK assets, making them potentially more attractive.

“If you couple that with foreign exchange movements it makes them cheaper in real terms and foreign exchange terms.”

S&P Capital IQ data shows buyers in the EU have acquired 553 UK assets in the past year (Image: GETTY)

Mr Baylin added that while some investors will look at the bigger picture and invest, others will wait.

He said: “Beyond pure pricing, investors also have to take a view on the performance of those assets in a post-Brexit environment.

“Some will take the long view and invest, others will wait and see.”

Assets and companies that serve a British customer base will be especially attractive, Mr Baylin said.

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Rob Donaldson at RSM told us : “There is an enormous amount of uninvested capital in the private equity world.

“Generally if they don’t spend the money they lose it and the fees associated with it.

“They have been very successful at raising money, so the pressure is on to deploy it.”

He said the weaker pound makes UK assets cheaper while prices in the US have become expensive.

The top 10 investors in Britain have increased their holding of UK securities (Image: GETTY)

Mr Donaldson added: “We’ve seen some very significant property deals dome, with the Gherkin and some other very large assets acquired by overseas investors taking the long view.”

In the past three years the top 10 investors in Britain have increased their holding of UK securities.

These investors include Vanguard, Schroders, Invesco and Legal & General.

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