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Half of companies in CSE to pursue M&A deals by Oct 2018 - EY

Half of companies in CSE to pursue M&A deals by Oct 2018 - EY Mark Rubens/

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 11 (SeeNews) - More than half, or 56%, of companies in the Central and Southeast Europe (CSE) will actively pursue merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in the October 2017 - October 2018 period, a survey by global consultancy Ernst&Young (EY) showed.

In addition, 53% of top executives in CSE will actively pursue M&A in the period under review in order to increase market share, acquire innovation and move into new markets, EY said in its 17th Capital Confidence Barometer.

The survey was taken in September-October period among 141 executives from CSE. The respondents represented 14 industry sectors.

"Technology is the most common sector in which respondents see high convergence and blurring with their own. When talking about the top investment destination, the highest intention to pursue acquisitions seems to be in telecommunications (80%), technology (70%) and life sciences (69%)," the report reads.

Nearly half of senior managers stated that they plan to develop digital capabilities in-house, while one-third stated that they prefer hiring executives with digital expertise from inside or outside their industry. Twenty-nine percent of survey participants are willing to re-skill or train their employees to better respond to technology changes in the 12-month period.

According to survey results, however, organic growth remains the primary focus for 71% of CSE executives.

For 100% of regional executives who took part in the survey, the global economy is expected to stay at the current level or improve. They have similar expectations for the local economies.

The survey participants are also expecting mostly positive growth or stable development of corporate earnings, credit availability and equity valuations at the global and local levels.

CSE companies' main challenges were the impact of digital technology and transformation to their business model (27%), and increased competition from companies in other sectors (26%).