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Private equity industry looks ahead to rosy 2004

More than half of the UK's private equity investors are planning to increase their investments over the next three months, according to the Confidence and Attitudes Survey 2004. This show of confidence has more than doubled in the past three months, according to the survey. Two-thirds of the private equity houses foresee an improving performance from their company portfolio while a further 41% predict a more vibrant climate for fundraising in the market; in the three month periods from March, June and October in 2003, this figure stood at 5%, 22% and 31% respectively.

Factors to boost such confidence, according to the survey, include the general level of prices on the stock exchange, interest rates and the sterling-dollar exchange rate.

"Private equity backed businesses currently employ nearly 3 million people, or 18% of the private sector workforce," says John Mackie, the chief executive of the British Venture Capital Association. "It is therefore good news for not only the private equity industry but the UK economy as a whole, to see that investors are displaying such confidence."

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