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Near-term outlook gloomy for corporate finance activity

Australia and the United Kingdom may have raised interest rates last week, but that does not necessarily imply a return to widespread investor confidence for a return to the boom times.

Following a study by Grant Thornton Corporate Finance, the financial and business advisor, the recovery in corporate finance activity is still at least six months away according to mid-market venture capitalists and brokers surveyed by Grant Thornton Corporate Finance.

Business services, healthcare, financial services, retail and leisure, were identified as the only sectors worth investing in over the next six months, however, according to 60% of respondents, only certain sub-sectors and niche operators within this group were tipped to experience some renewed buoyancy. The remaining 40% of respondents showed mixed levels of confidence in all other sectors and surprisingly overlooked food and media, two sectors which, given recent market and legislative developments, could provide interesting deal opportunities.

"The first signs of greater business and commercial optimism that we are currently witnessing are still well short of infecting entire sectors. As a result, the vast majority of deal opportunities are concentrated around high-quality businesses that operate within niche sectors that can offer a point of differentiation.

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