Sweden’s Telia is world’s top communications investor. It is also the world’s most prolific investor, regardless of the sector, when it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI). The company undertook a whopping 483 investment overseas projects in 2022, thereby vastly outrunning the closest competitors: Deutsche Telekom (with 180 projects) and Amazon (with 155 projects).

Telia, a major multinational telecommunications company and mobile network operator, undertook most of its investment in western Europe and central and eastern Europe, with a focus on 5G rollout across Estonia, Finland and Norway.

How this fits into the global investment picture

Global flows of FDI recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, reaching $1.6trn. Cross-border deals and international project finance were particularly strong, encouraged by loose financing conditions and infrastructure stimulus. However, the recovery of greenfield investment in industry remained fragile, especially in developing countries.

The global picture for 2022 was more mixed, based on available data (which has not yet been fully collated for the year). What we do know is that global FDI flows were up overall by 20% in the first half of 2022, but that this masked a 22% drop in the second quarter, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. In terms of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), which make up the lion's share of FDI, global deal value dropped to $2.8trn from $3.9trn in 2021, according to GlobalData.

This year will be another challenging year for global M&A and FDI, more generally, as markets face headwinds of likely recessions across Europe, global reductions in new hiring and consumer spending, and ongoing trade disruptions (not to mention the continued war on Ukraine).

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By GlobalData