BNA Insights: The Rise in ASEAN – Expected Litigation Outflow

June 6, 2016

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (‘‘ASEAN’’) encompasses the countries of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao (PDR), Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. [ASEAN Member States, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, www.asean.org (Jan. 28, 2016, 6:14pm).] This area within Asia has become home to a wave of new economic and commercial initiatives, which are set to firmly place Asia at the epicenter of cross-border trade and economic growth. [Kanishk Verghese, Opportunity Beckons, Asian Legal Business, January 28, 2016, at www.legalbusinessonline.com.] M&A activity in the Asia-Pacific region reached new heights in 2015, with numerous multibillion dollar deals keeping businesses, bankers, and lawyers on their toes. According to Thomson Reuters’ data, M&A volume in Asia (excluding Japan) in 2015 hit the trillion dollar mark for the first time in history, within US$1.165 trillion, a whopping 59 percent increase from the US$731.3 billion recorded in 2014. This boom can be attributed to ‘‘the strong cash positions held by Asian companies, cheaper asset valuations in overseas markets, and a ravenous appetite for expansion.’’

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