Mergers and acquisitions among Asian financial services firms will increase over the next five years, in spite of high valuations, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, Dow Jones reports.

PwC polled 230 senior financial services executives in Asia, with 74% responding that they expect significant M&A activity in the next five years, up from 68% in 2005’s previous survey.

Asked what is spurring this activity, 47% said market share and 46% said the desire to enter new geographic markets. This is in spite of the fact that 50% said high M&A costs are a concern, up from 32% in 2005. Other concerns are uncertain regulatory requirements (23%) and a lack of attractive targets (34%).

“Although growth might be shifting in terms of key markets, the survey has confirmed that Asia is still the home of growth,” said Christopher Chan, a PwC partner.

“Rapidly evolving markets and significant growth factored into deal prices make it very easy to overpay,” added another PwC partner, Matthew Phillips.

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