China has slipped off the radar of many Asian companies looking for acquisitions, with Southeast Asia now the target market of choice, a survey of regional chief financial officers (CFO) found.
The mainland slipped to fifth place in this year's survey from first in 2013, while Southeast Asia climbed to the top spot from second last year, the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch CFO Outlook survey found.
"China's inbound M&A story has been declining for some time," the report said. "The slowing of China's economic growth, higher labor costs and uncertainty about China's political transition have all contributed to a dwindling appetite for deal-making."
Foreign inbound M&A into China slipped to $31 billion last year, down from an average $33.6 billion over the past five years, while the number of deals slipped to 540 in 2013 from 831 in 2012, it noted.