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Piero Novelli, co-head of global Mergers & Acquisitions at UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) says M&A activity will extend into 2007 and prompt more consolidation in Japan, Asia and the rest of the world, according to this report in The Wall Street Journal:

"We want to maintain our market leadership in Japan and Asia," Mr. Novelli said, adding that the brokerage is looking for younger staff to train in M&A practices. "Japan is a market where we want to expand."

This year, UBS has been involved in some high-profile deals in Asia. It advised Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ:VOD) on the $15.6 billion sale of its Japanese mobile-phone operations to Internet conglomerate Softbank Corp. (OTCPK:SFTBF). It also advised an investor group that helped take restaurant operator Skylark Co. private in a $2.2 billion management buyout, Japan's largest ever.

You'll want to read the entire piece. But this at the end pops out:

"We are very bullish on Japan," Mr. Novelli said. For M&A, "it could be the fastest-growing market in the world" in three to five years.

That may or may not help my Japanese stocks -- but it would be a great thing for Japan and the country's stock market investors.

UBS 1-yr chart

UBS 1-yr chart

Source: UBS: "We Are Very Bullish on Japan"