India has spurted ahead of China and the US as the most attractive investment destination, a survey by global professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) says.
EY's ninth bi-annual capital confidence barometer, based on a survey of 1,600 senior executives across more than 70 countries, has ranked India as the most attractive investment destination followed by Brazil, while China is at third place.
The top three investing countries into India are the US, France and Japan. Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from the US, France and Japan during the period April 2000 to August 2013 amounted to Rs.53,673 crore, Rs.17,718 crore and Rs.71,870 crore, respectively.
"With sharp currency depreciation and opening up of FDI in various sectors, India has become an attractive destination for foreign investors," the EY report said.
Sectors with the highest level of possible deals include Automotive, Technology, Life Sciences and Consumer Products.
The survey reported that 38 percent of the respondents feel that Merger and Amalgamations (M&As) volumes in India are expected to improve over the next 12 months, while 30 percent believe that these will remain stable.
"The investor outlook for India remains positive, despite the challenges the country's economy has faced in the recent past. At the same time, the improved condition of the world economy has helped increase confidence amongst deal makers, prompting them to take a bolder stance toward executing transactions," said Amit Khandelwal, National Leader & Partner - Transaction Advisory Services, EY.
"After two years, European countries (Britain and Germany) have made a comeback on the potential investment destinations list for Indian companies," the report said.
According to EY, global executives' sentiments have improved, specifically regarding plans for acquisitions and deals, and are at a two-year high with credit and cash available for deals.