According to a report issued by Thomson Reuters, global deal volume declined by one-third in 2008 and is expected to decline in 2009. Total deal volume in 2008 was $2.89 trillion, the lowest since 2005. Of course, the downturn the latter part of 2008 was the steepest, being 44% lower. In 2008, U.S. deal volume was 55% lower. In addition, the report noted the collapse of 1,100 agreed-upon deals in 2008, a record number of failed deals. Japan was no exception. According to a report in the Japan Times, M&A activity in Japan by foreign investors declined 82% in 2008. Especially notable is the pullout of private investors, such as hedge funds, from the Japanese market.
However, as an exception, Japanese companies' outbound investment, i.e., acquisitions of non-Japanese companies, increased 260%. One reason is the strong yen, which makes overseas acquisitions relatively cheaper for Japanese buyers. Another is that some Japanese companies have a lot of cash and are less dependent on outside financing, which is still hard to obtain. Finally, the increase reflects some high value acquisitions, such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group's $9 billion investment in Morgan Stanley.