NU Online News Service, Aug. 30, 4:25 p.m. – The insurance industry recorded 183 mergers and acquistions valued at $34 billion during the first months of the year, up from 140 deals valued at $13.8 billion for the first seven months of 2000, according to Mergerstat Holdings L.P., Los Angeles, a research firm.

The total value of the deals was up 146%.

The insurance industry experienced a bigger increase in M&A activity than any other industry, Mergerstat says.

The banking and finance was the leading industry in terms of total deal value, with 187 deals valued at more than $66 billion.