BEIRUT

Regional

Middle East M&A activity rises by more than 50 percent

Haworth: The UAE was the most active.

DUBAI: Thomson Reuters Tuesday estimated Middle East merger and acquisition activity in the first nine months of 2012 at $15.7 billion, more than double the activity seen during the same period in 2011 ($7.5 billion), and the strongest first nine months since 2008.

Russell Haworth, managing director, Middle East and North Africa at Thomson Reuters, said: “In respect to M&A activity during the first nine months of 2012, telecoms was the most targeted industry in the Middle East with $6.4 billion. The United Arab Emirates was the most active Middle Eastern country with $4 billion of the total M&A activity so far during 2012.”

He added that investment banking has seen strong activity across Middle Eastern markets during the third quarter of 2012.

“This is clearly evident by the fees generated from the equity capital markets underwriting which reached $81.5 million. This marks the strongest first nine months for fees in the region since 2008,” Haworth said.

He added that Islamic debt issuance reached $23.4 billion from 63 issues during the first nine months of 2012, an increase of 50 percent from the same period last year, and the strongest first nine months since 2008.

Regarding investment banking, the report said that Middle Eastern fees reached $402.2 million during the first nine months of 2012, a 23-percent increase from the first nine months of 2011 when fees reached $327.5 million.

Middle Eastern debt capital markets fees during the first nine months of 2012 reached $81.9 million, nearly double the $41.9 million seen during the same period in 2011.

The report said that M&A fees recorded $103.3 million during the first nine months of 2012, down 14 percent from the same period last year ($120.3 million).

Fees from syndicated lending reached $135.5 million, up 38 percent over the first nine months of 2011 and accounting for 34 percent of the overall fee pool.

Fees from equity capital markets underwriting recorded $81.5 million, marking the strongest first nine months for fees in the region since 2008.

In respect to M&A activity, Goldman Sachs topped the Middle Eastern Involvement M&A Ranking during the first nine months of 2012 with $5.9 billion, while Credit Suisse took second place with $4.8 billion. HSBC topped the Middle Eastern target M&A Ranking, controlling 26 percent of the market. The largest deal so far this year was Qtel’s $2.2 billion offer for the Kuwait-based telecoms operator, Wataniya, in August.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 10, 2012, on page 5.

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