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Global merger and acquisition (M&A) activity retreated in the fourth quarter, according to new research from GlobalData.

The London-based firm reported that deal value dropped by 4.5% compared with the same quarter in 2018, and deal volume dipped by 0.6% over the same period.

The decline in global M&A was attributed primarily to a drop in North America, which saw deal value plummet by about 13% year over year.

The region’s deal volume also declined, from approximately 3,000 deals in Q4 2018 to about 2,800 transactions in Q4 2019.

Conversely, the Asia-Pacific region saw M&A deal volume rise by about 20% in Q4. Deal value was also up by about 10% compared with the same quarter in 2018.

GlobalData said that M&A activity also ticked up in Europe, with deal volume edging up to about 2,100 from 2,000 transactions in Q4, and deal value rising from US$118 billion to US$130 billion.

M&A in South and Central America saw transaction value rise in Q4 and deal volume fall.

Deal activity was also down in the Middle East and Africa.