India is expected to see mergers and acquisitions (M&A) worth $50 billion in 2018 riding on plenty of stressed corporate assets on offer at tempting valuations, a report by industry chamber Assocham said on Monday.
The forecast in 2018 was picked by Assocham Year Ahead Outlook from the trends in 2017 when India's M&A transactions witnessed a quantum jump of 170 per cent in valuations and over 70 per cent in the number of transactions.
According to different data compilations, there were a total of 944 transactions (664 domestic and 280 cross-border) in 2017 worth $46.5 billion ($13.1 billion domestic and $33.4 billion cross-border).
This was against a total of 553 transactions (358 domestic and 195 cross-border) worth $17.5 billion ($7.2 billion domestic and $10.3 billion cross-border) in 2016.
"There has been a quantum leap in M&A transactions in India with more focus on sectors such as healthcare, telecom, energy, real estate, media and entertainment, banking, insurance, oil, cement and consumer products," said the Assocham paper.
The M&A opportunities in 2018 would remain robust given the fact that lot more assets continue to remain under stress, highlighted the study.
"Besides, several of the big ticket projects, referred to the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code would see change in promoters in areas like real estate, steel etc," said Assocham Secretary General DS Rawat.
Easing of guidelines and legislative support in the Income Tax Act and the Competition Act were suggested by the chamber to give an impetus to M&A activity in India.
"Amendments in the Stamp Act, 1899 to bring uniformity of Stamp Duty in all Indian states particularly to M&A transactions can prove to be a catapult for the future M&A's in India," Assocham said.