April 15, 2019

UK becomes top investment destination – despite Brexit

By Lucy Ingham

The UK is defying ongoing Brexit uncertainty by becoming the most popular destination for foreign investment in the world, according to a report published today by EY.

The report, which focuses on corporate deal-making, found the UK to be the top investment destination in the world for the first time since EY began publishing it 10 years ago.

Published today, it joins the news that Chinese investment in the European tech industry has quadrupled, indicating that tech has been a key draw for those seeing the UK as an investment destination.

“This huge jump in foreign investment into European tech from China shows that the technology arena is clearly still a hugely attractive investment opportunity,” commented Mark Brownridge, director general of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association.

“The drive to back tech companies is something that the Enterprise Investment Scheme has been focusing on in the last few years, with the increased funding limit for ‘knowledge-intensive’ businesses in line with the Government’s modern industrial strategy. Supporting investment into small tech-based businesses is hugely important to the UK’s private sector and SME economy.”

UK investment destination position bucks Brexit concerns

Brexit has created considerably uncertainty for businesses, particularly the tech industry. However, this news from EY suggests that the appetite for technology investments is providing protection from Brexit-led harm.

“It is clear that despite Brexit uncertainty surrounding Europe and the UK, there is no slowdown in appetite for the investment opportunities that exist, especially in the fast-growing tech sector,” said Brownridge.

However, he also warned that the country needed to look beyond UK foreign investment to ensure the country’s tech businesses could thrive.

“Investor confidence is key to the funding of growing businesses in the UK especially in the SME arena. Funding for technology businesses in the UK is a key area of discussion for the businesses we work with,” he said.

“Whilst increased investment from overseas is positive for the majority of the business arena, it is important that we do not rely on it in supporting high growth UK-based small businesses.”

Read more: Techxit: British blockchain urged to reject “harsh” EU crypto law for tech-friendly Brexit


Verdict deals analysis methodology

This analysis considers only announced and completed artificial intelligence deals from the GlobalData financial deals database and excludes all terminated and rumoured deals. Country and industry are defined according to the headquarters and dominant industry of the target firm. The term ‘acquisition’ refers to both completed deals and those in the bidding stage.

GlobalData tracks real-time data concerning all merger and acquisition, private equity/venture capital and asset transaction activity around the world from thousands of company websites and other reliable sources.

More in-depth reports and analysis on all reported deals are available for subscribers to GlobalData’s deals database.

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