Merrill Datasite Poll: Nationalism / Protectionism On The Rise Over Past 12 Months

North America Expected to Lead the Way in Promoting Nationalism / Protectionism in 2011

New York, N.Y. In a recent survey of more than 117 global M&A market professionals, 80 percent of respondents indicated that nationalism / protectionism has either slightly or greatly increased over the past 12 months. The poll was conducted during a webinar presented by Merrill DataSite, in association with Global Finance Magazine, called, Cross Border M&A: The Rising Tide of Nationalism and Protectionism.

Although results varied by region, there is a clear movement for countries to circle-the-wagons in order to protect their interests, noted Richard Martin, senior director of Merrill DataSite. Interestingly, the respondents expect North America (40 percent) to promote the greatest level of protectionism in 2011, followed by the Pacific Rim (24 percent), the Middle East (17 percent) and Western Europe (16 percent). However, the result of these actions is not expected to come without long-term consequences; approximately 49 percent of respondents expect increased nationalism /protectionism to result in increased domestic and worldwide prices and approximately 30 percent expect strained international relations.

Additional questions and their respective responses were as follows:

Which industries do you believe are most susceptible to nationalism / protectionism?

Natural resources:50.0%
Financial services: 10.0%

What are the driving factors behind nationalism / protectionism?

Politically motivated:38.0%
Economic protection:16.0%
Job protection: 8.0%
All of the above:38.0%

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