Global mergers and acquisitions slumped this quarter to a levelnot seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis amidincreasing concern the economic recovery is deteriorating.

Companies have announced $446 billion of takeovers since June30, the smallest amount since the third quarter of 2009, accordingto data compiled by Bloomberg. Chinese state-run oil company CnoocLtd.'s proposed purchase of Nexen Inc. was the only transaction totop $10 billion in the period, the data show. Acquisitions are nowon pace to drop 15 percent in 2012 to $2 trillion, the lowest inthree years.

Cross-border takeovers have accounted for about half of allannounced deals this year, a trend that may continue with EuropeanAeronautic Defence and Space Co. in talks to combine with BAESystems Plc. Still, while chief executive officers worldwide aresitting on at least $3.4 trillion in cash, many remain reluctant topursue deals as Europe's sovereign-debt crisis drags on and signsgrow that China's economy is slowing.

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