London, Jan 14: India has emerged as the FTSE 100’s developing market destination of choice from the past decade, attracting $31 billion (Rs 1.9 lakh crore) of investment across 145 deals.

This is the highest among BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Overall, India was the fourth most targeted nation of Britain’s FTSE 100 share index, according to new research released on January 13 by law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) statistics, from the past decade, analysed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, offer a comprehensive picture of Britain’s leading companies’ investment trends.

British companies spent $645 billion (Rs 39.68 lakh crore) across 3,967 deals globally, with more than three quarters (81%) of the investment targeting just 10 countries. The UK and US accounted for the lion’s share — more than half (51%), according to the research.

Commenting on India being the FTSE 100’s top investment destination among emerging markets, Pratap Amin, chairperson of the firm’s India Group, said, “India has been more open to international investment in a range of sectors over the past decade, particularly those that are capital-intensive and have needed international expertise.”

He added, “British companies have been keen to capitalise on the opportunity and make the most of established historical, cultural and diplomatic ties. There have also been some significant strategic collaborations in key sectors which have contributed to an increasing flow of investment.”

Amin said while Indian deal activity was undergoing a temporary slowdown, partly due to uncertainty over coming elections, India remained an important international destination for M&A.

Examples of FTSE 100 deal activity in India include BP’s strategic collaboration with Reliance Industries, a Mumbai-based conglomerate, for $7.2 billion (more than Rs. 44,000 crore at present exchange rate) in 2011.

Edward Braham, global head of corporate at Freshfields, said, “By comparison, growth in China has been largely organic over the past decade and many international companies have gained a foothold in the region by pursuing joint venture models rather than outright acquisitions. International buyers have also faced restrictions when acquiring larger high-quality assets, which are typically state-owned.”