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Value of worldwide mergers and acquisitions hits $2 trillion this year

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Worldwide mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity has reached $2 trillion so far this year, 75 percent higher than last year, according to Thomson Reuters weekly data, helped by a string of large-cap companies striking high value deals.

Eight deals valued at more than $5 billion were announced this week, setting an all-time record for weekly deal making among companies with a large market capitalisation, Thomson Reuters said on Friday.

The total value of deals over $5 billion hit $915.9 billion in the year to July 17, more than triple the level seen a year ago.

One such deal came on Tuesday, when Camel cigarettes maker Reynolds American said it would buy rival Lorillard for $26.8 billion. As part of the takeover, Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group bought a number of brands and assets from both companies for $7.1 billion.

Imperial adviser Goldman Sachs ranked top in the M&A league tables, ahead of Morgan Stanley and Citi.

(For more detail on the week's investment banking data please click on: http://trmcs-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/6a279c1fcc308bebb0820e43857143fe_20140718081053_Weekly_Scorecard_071714.pdf) (Reporting by Clare Hutchison; Editing by Susan Fenton)