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Investors view UK as third most important country for growth prospects despite Brexit: Report

Luke MacGregor | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Investors appear to have shrugged off any Brexit concerns to adjudge the U.K. as the third most important country in terms of company growth prospects, according to a report published Monday.

Britain's international business standing has not been negatively impacted by looming Brexit negotiations and has moved up one place to be level pegging alongside Germany, according to analysis from professional services giant PwC.

"Importance could be interpreted in a positive light – that the countries selected would be those expected to grow most or fastest. On that basis, the Brexit vote and all the uncertainty surrounding the U.K.'s future relationship with the EU appear not to be deterring investors," Hilary Eastman, head of global investor engagement at PwC, said in a note.

One in three of the 550 global investors and 1,300 CEOs surveyed placed the U.K. in their top three countries in terms of corporate growth, up from just 19 percent last year when Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU).

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is widely expected to meet her self-imposed April deadline to begin divorce talks with the bloc.

UK and London surge beyond rivals

The U.K. and Germany placed equal third behind the U.S. and China respectively although London emerged as the second most important city for investors just behind New York.

"However, some investment professionals we spoke to saw that 'importance' could also be interpreted in a negative sense – that problems and greater volatility in the U.K., for example, could have an important effect on slowing down companies' growth," Eastman added.

In terms of economic growth, 45 percent of investors surveyed described themselves as very confident over the U.K.'s growth prospects, twice as many as the PwC's report a year earlier.

Despite the upbeat sentiment from most investors surveyed, the most frequently cited risks were found to be country specific protectionist policies, geopolitical uncertainty and even the future of the euro zone.

The protectionist rhetoric from the White House since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January has rattled economies with close ties to the United States, however, professional investors remained optimistic for Britain's prospects overall.