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UK foreign investment ‘is booming’

A new report has indicated that the UK is currently attracting a great deal of foreign investment.

The study was carried out by merger and acquisitions advisory firm Imas in conjunction with government export agency UK Trade and Investment - and seen by the Daily Telegraph.

It was specified that out of the UK financial companies that are worth more than £100 million, 46 per cent are owned by overseas investors.

This figure is expected to rise to 50 per cent over the course of the next three years - and the report authors suggested that this demonstrates just how attractive the UK has become for businesses thinking about transferring money from abroad and expanding their operations.

By far the largest overseas buyer of British firms is the US, which accounts for a total of 47 per cent of all foreign investments.

Countries like this are generally seen as using the UK as a gateway to further expansion into other European territories.

Indeed, overseas-owned businesses were by some distance the most active acquirers of UK financial service firms in both 2011 and 2012.

On top of this trend, 80 per cent of these enterprises already had existing UK operations, which indicates that they could be seriously committed to investing in Britain.

Trade minister Lord Green argued that this clearly demonstrates that the UK has an international appeal to the most powerful economies in the world.

Olly Laughton-Scott, founding partner of IMAS, said: "The report reflects how extraordinarily open UK business is to overseas investment.

"America, with its huge financial services economy, is using the UK as its springboard into Europe," he continued, adding: "As America expands its interests, it will place more emphasis on the UK."

"As Asia becomes truly globalised, this will play to London’s strengths - they will come to Britain," the expert continued, going on to speculate that a large portion of Chinese investment could also come to the UK.

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