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Coronavirus sends Japan M&A values diving to 18-year low

Europe hardest hit, with massive 91% drop for 1st half of 2020

Japanese companies have largely avoided M&As since the coronavirus outbreak. (Source photos by Ken Kobayashi and Rie Ishii)

TOKYO -- Japanese companies have placed corporate deal-making on the backburner as a result of the coronavirus, with the total transaction value of mergers and acquisitions sinking 63% to 2.2 trillion yen ($20 billion) in the six months to June, the lowest since 2002.

Overseas acquisitions especially took a hit, declining 76% to 1 trillion yen compared with the same period a year ago, while domestic deals dropped 30%, according to Tokyo-based research company Recof.

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