19 Oct 2022

Offshore investors see New Zealand as attractive option - survey

9:35 am on 19 October 2022
Auckland City's marina during the Covid-19 alert level four lockdown.

A survey of 91 international investors found 70 percent expected mergers and acquisitions activity in New Zealand to increase over the next 12 months. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Offshore investors are "overwhelmingly positive" towards investment in New Zealand with environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors key to their decision making.

A report by the law firm Simpson Grierson, which surveyed 91 international investors, showed all of them were considering investing in Aotearoa in the next five years.

It found 70 percent expected mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in New Zealand to increase over the next 12 months, and three-quarters said ESG factors had become more important than ever.

"These results are a real testament to New Zealand's ability to develop great businesses and to the stable nature of our political and regulatory environment," Simpson Grierson corporate partner Andrew Matthews said.

"Two thirds of respondents told us they are more likely to invest in New Zealand due to the current global political and economic challenges, and in a world where there is a lot of capital looking for a home, the survey reveals that New Zealand is perceived as a safe haven and a great place to do business," he said.

There have been 63 deals so far this year, indicating a softening market compared to the boom in 2021, which saw 124 deals, Simpson Grierson said.

The value of deals so far this year is at US$9.8 billion.

"Feedback tells us that investors see Aotearoa as an even more attractive destination than it was two years ago," Matthews said.

"While year-to-date deal activity is lower than the 2021 boom, it remains solid, and is evidence of offshore investors looking beyond traditional markets, in search of productive homes for investment funds," he said.

"New Zealand's reputation for developing new and advanced technology is also seen as a key strength because we are providing products and solutions the world wants at the right point in their development, as evidenced by offshore investment in companies like Ask Nicely Ltd, Moxion, Brand Machine and Cyber Research Ltd."

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