The UK climbed two places to fifth in the 2020 Mergers and Acquisitions Attractiveness Index. Boris Johnson signed a Brexit withdrawal agreement with the EU in January 2020 when the UK officially left the bloc and the UK sealed a trade deal with Brussels 11 months later.
The annual index, conducted by experts at City, University of London, ranks 144 countries on their ability to attract and maintain domestic and inbound investment.
The US and Singapore maintained to top two places in the chart.
Germany came third, a rise of two places from fifth in 2019.
The Netherlands were ranked in fourth place, but had slipped one place compared to the previous year.
Britain improved two places from seventh in 2019 to fifth place in 2020.
Despite remaining outside the top four, the UK recorded the third highest volume of deal activity and deal value behind the US and China.
Researchers insisted this demonstrated “resilience in its financial infrastructure to continue attracting overseas investment.”
They also pointed out low interest rates and a weakened pound as a result of the global pandemic was another contributing factor.
Universities and access to highly educated graduates was also a strong suit for the UK.
Overall, North America ranked as the most attractive region for mergers and acquisitions.
Western Europe and Oceania came in second and third place.
Dr Naaguesh Appadu, co-author of the report, pointed out the rush for businesses to get things sorted at the end of the Brexit transition period may have contributed to an increase in UK activity.
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He also noted the UK had suffered a period of “decline” in the index over recent years.
The UK has fallen four places in the index compared to 2015.
Dr Appadu said: “Of course, this could also suggest an urgency to finalise deals before Britain’s Brexit transition phase expired at the end of the year with a no-deal scenario still on the table at that point – which could have made such investments more problematic.
“The uncertainty around the Brexit vote and subsequent negotiations have undoubtedly impacted [the UK’s] gradual decline, and it will be interesting to continue monitoring this in conjunction with the impact of coronavirus.”