A turf war between Islamist militants in Asia could have a disruptive effect on trade, according to new research.

With terrorists in South and Southeast Asia defecting or pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), there could be an increase in inter-militia violence, while the fact that there are splinter terrorist groups each pursuing their own agenda could lead to more attacks on “traditional targets”, such as embassies and international businesses.

IHS, the research firm, said that of particular risk are South Asian economies such as Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, where rivalries between Afghan Taliban, the Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the IS are simmering and threatening to boil over.

In Southeast Asia, the threat is more nascent, but still substantial. Numerous groups in the Philippines and Indonesia have sworn allegiance to IS, but have yet to receive any financial backing, despite the riches accumulated by IS in Syria and Iraq, where they have commandeered many of the largest oil reserves.

“Existing groups are changing and we’re likely to see an increased frequency in attacks,” Omar Hamid, IHS

“We may see this result in an increase in disruptive agents,” Omar Hamid, IHS’ head of Asia analysis tells GTR. “Businesses will be faced with the same risks that they face currently: there’s not an influx of new groups, but existing groups are changing and we’re likely to see an increased frequency in attacks.”

The release won’t help the increasingly accepted view that South and Southeast Asia are among the most dangerous parts of the world in which to do business. Earlier in June, the insurance company Aon authored a report saying that South Asia was the region at most risk to terrorist attacks. Analysts warned over the detrimental impact this would have on business confidence and investment.

Furthermore, the Mercator Institute of China Studies (Merics) recently warned of the potential impact on commerce coming from the hike in terrorist attacks on Mainland China. Between 2013 and 2014, Beijing, Kunming and Urumqi were targets for large and extremely violent terrorist attacks. In less than eight months 72 people died in suicide bombings, car bombs, stabbings and bombings.

Merics’ director of foreign policy and foreign trade Mikko Huotari explained that much of the terrorism emanates from Islamic regions in the east of China, where Uighur actors are linked with networks in South Asia.

He says: “Terrorism in China has changed in three ways. Although they remain mainly limited to the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, attacks throughout China have transformed the security situation and public perception. Uighur actors were linked as early as the 1980s and 1990s with terrorist networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. New reports are now linking them to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.”