The first three months of Calendar Year 2018 recorded 323 transactions (M&A and PE) worth $22.5 billion, showing a marginal increase in deal volumes, while values saw a 24% dip compared with the same period in 2017, Grant Thornton indicated in its dealtracker report released on Thursday. However, compared with the December quarter, the January-March quarter witnessed a robust 2.5x increase in deal values and 24% increase in deal volumes, demonstrating positive investor sentiment and encouraging deal environment, the report indicated. The energy sector led the deal activity, accounting for 47% of total deal value driven by two deals in the billion-dollar category executed in the oil & gas and power-generation segments. ONGC\u2019s 51% stake acquisition in HPCL for a consideration of $5.8 billion marked the largest deal in the oil & gas segment since 2016 that saw Rosneft-Essar deal valued at $12.9 billion, the report stated. March recorded a 89% decline in deal values (M&A and PE) compared with March 2017 on the back of the Vodafone-Idea merger ($23 billion), the report indicated. Barring this, the month saw strong 64% rise in deal values (M&A and PE) on the back of one deal valued over $500 million and six deals valued over $100 million each, it said.