With a 185% increase in deal value, up to US$35 billion, China took second place after Australia in mergers and acquisitions in the first nine months of 2004 in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan, according to Dealogic which tracks M&A activity. Australia saw US$58.2 billion in M&A transactions over the period. Top China deals included acquisitions by China Telecommunications and China Mobile (Hong Kong) of 10 provincial networks each from their parent companies, and HSBC's 19.9% stake in Bank of Communications. Mainland transactions included more foreign investment than any other country in the first nine months, with 389 deals worth US$15.6 billion, a fourfold increase over the corresponding period a year earlier. Analysts said a continuing rise in offshore acquisitions by Chinese firms would drive M&A activity as mainland companies seek to acquire technology, distribution and new products.