International firms overwhelmingly say Brexit would be bad - poll

The 'Brighter Future In' campaign bus is seen at its launch at Exeter University in Exeter, Britain April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Dan Kitwood/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - A majority of international businesses from seven countries including Germany and China believe a British exit from the European Union would be bad for them and lead to a cut in investment, according to an Ipsos MORI poll on Friday.

In all, 78 percent of the 667 companies questioned said they believed the impact of a vote to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum would be negative, with only 5 percent thinking it would be positive for their business.

The rest said it would be neither positive nor negative or did not know.

Ipsos MORI said its online poll, carried out between April 19 and May 2, involved businesses belonging to the bilateral Chambers of Commerce of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Asked about the impact of a Brexit on their likely future UK investment, 61 percent said the impact would most likely be negative with 5 percent having the opposite view and about a quarter, 27 percent, saying it would most likely have no effect. The rest, 7 percent, were unsure either way.

One in three said the impact would be very negative causing a decrease in investment of more than 10 percent.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison