Merger and acquisition activity in Latin America plunged to an all-time low during the first half of the year as the arrival of the new coronavirus stunted deal activity.

Just 199 deals worth $8.1 billion closed during the first six months of 2020, down from 316 deals worth $35 billion in the same period of 2019, according to data from Mergermarket. The 77% decline in deal value is the worst since the firm started tracking activity in the region in 2001.

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