Photo from UNIAN Ukraine saw the growth of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by 22% in 2017 in terms of deal flow. "After successive years of decline, 2017 finally saw Ukrainian M&A return to growth, both in terms of deal flow (22%) and the aggregate value of transactions announced (37%)," KPMG said in a new report on M&A activity in Ukraine, which was published at the end of March 2018. "However, deal activity remains well below the recent peak of 2013, and at just under 1% of GDP, Ukrainian M&A is four times lower than the global average and less than one tenth of U.S. or UK deal making," it said. "While this is symptomatic of the turbulent economic and political situation the country has faced over recent years, which inevitably impacted the capacity of domestic investors and appetite of foreign investors, it also reflects the low level of transparency in Ukrainian M&A." Read alsoReuters: Ukrainian agribusiness Kernel in $500 mln Eurobond deal According to the report, the value of 2017 Ukrainian M&A was driven to a large extent by three deals each valued in excess of US$100 million. In June 2017, Kernel, Ukraine&#39;s largest agricultural business, used part of the proceeds from its January Eurobond raising to acquire Ukrainian Agrarian Investments from Russia&#39;s Onexim Group for US$155 million. A group of international investors acquired a 13% stake in Ferrexpo from CERCL Holdings in January for US$126 million, while in May Evraz Group sold its Ukrainian iron ore mine and beneficiation plant (ESB) to DCH Group for US$110 million. While the value of inbound M&A fell by just over one-third in 2017 to US$351 million, the number of deals has remained broadly stable over the last three years. "This reflects investors continued confidence in the medium-to-long-term prospects of the country, and, although progress has been sluggish at times, government&#39;s efforts to implement reforms to transform the economy. Likewise, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has recovered sharply from the nadir of 2014, with a number of investment funds returning to Ukraine," it said. KPMG forecasts that in 2018 the number of transactions and the aggregate value of deals will continue to grow and show a strong gain over 2017.