It will come as no surprise that Singapore firms are vitally interested in mergers and acquisitions outside Singapore, and now even outside Southeast Asia, as there are limited domestic opportunities for business growth.

That has been true in the telecommunications business as well, as Singtel, for example, has looked abroad for growth, essentially reorienting from a domestic full service provider to a domestic retailer with freedom to invest in communications assets outside Singapore, both access and app.

Singtel’s digital app assets are part of a strategy including investments in mobile service providers. Singtel owns shares in many regional operators, including 100 percent of the second largest Australian telco, Optus.

Singtel also owns 32 percent of Bharti Airtel, the largest carrier in India.

A report by Mergermarket says the “most targeted” sectors include technology, media and telecommunications, business services and leisure.

Each of these sectors has registered steady outbound mergers and acquisitions growth over the last three years.

In addition to Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines registered a significant growth in activity.

Vietnam saw US$3.1 billion of activity, while the Philippines booked US$5.1 billion worth of transactions.

Singapore firms inked deals worth US$45.5 billion.

The United States was Singapore’s investment destination of choice, with US$35.8 billion in transactions.