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City A.M. So far this year, $583bn of deals have been announced worldwide, up 3.5% compared to $563bn in the first quarter of 2014. China is a particularly big buyer – its firms spent $46.8bn buying foreign firms last year, 10-times the level a decade ago. Analysts at Deloitte, who crunched the numbers, expect to see that figure keep on growing. According to City A.M., Deloitte’s Iain Macmillan said that, “for the first time since 2010, we are expecting to see four consecutive quarters of growth in deal volume. The factors driving M&A include the decline in oil prices, appreciation of the dollar and pressure from investors to focus on top-line growth.” Deals currently underway include China National Chemical Corp’s bid to purchase Italy’s Pirelli & C.SpA, in a deal that could value the Italian tire manufacturer at around $7.7 billion—one of the largest overseas acquisitions by a Chinese state firm in recent years, according to The Wall Street Journal. ChemChina reportedly won’t rule out an improved offer. The deal will give China, the largest auto market in the world, control of one of the world’s top tire brands and if the tender is completed, the largest acquisition by a Chinese state firm since oil giant Cnooc Ltd.’s $15 billion acquisition of Nexen Inc. in 2012, according to Dealogic data, said the Journal. The deal for Pirelli, if successful, would mark the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions. It would add to recent purchases deepening China’s ownership of premium brands—a portfolio that already includes Volvo cars, Club Med and Sunseeker yachts, among others, added the Journal. Sunseeker Yachts A tide of Asian funds is helping push up valuations in Europe, as eager Chinese buyers seek to diversify their investments. “European mergers and acquisitions are up 10 per cent on the year so far in deal value, but in Asia it is up 40 per cent, coming close to an all-time high,” Severin Brizay, UBS’ head of M&A in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), told City A.M. “A lot of that is outbound M&A, with China and Japan being particularly acquisitive abroad. And I’m confident the cycle still has some way to go.”]]>