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MidEast M&As transactions up, but investment banking fees take a hit; Qatar tops outbound M&A activity

October 2015

October 18, 2015 | 14:31 Dubai

The value of announced M&A transactions with any Middle Eastern involvement reached $33.7 billion during the first 9 months of 2015, up 23% than the value registered during the same period in 2014 and marking the best annual start since 2010, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters / Freeman Consulting that released the quarterly investment banking analysis for the Middle East region.

Middle Eastern investment banking fees however reached $480.5 million during the 9 months of this year, down 22% than the value recorded during the same period last year and the lowest first nine month total since 2012.

“Middle Eastern equity and equity-related issuance totalled US$2.6 billion during the third quarter of 2015, a slight decline from the second quarter of this year. Middle Eastern debt issuance reached US$16.1 billion during the third quarter of 2015, more than double the value raised during the previous quarter,” said Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, MENA, Thomson Reuters.

As regards investment banking fees, not one investment banking component saw year-over-year percentage gains during the 9 months of 2015, with equity capital markets underwriting declining 3% compared to last year, while fees from completed M&A transactions totalled $177.6 million, a 1% decline from the first 9 months of 2014, and accounting for 37% of the overall Middle Eastern investment banking fee pool, the highest first 9 month share since records began in 1980.

As for M&A deals, outbound M&A drove activity, up 57% from the first 9 months of 2014 to reach $17.2 billion, the highest first nine month total since 2009. Qatar’s overseas acquisitions accounted for 55% of Middle Eastern outbound M&A activity, while acquisitions by Saudi Arabian and UAE companies accounted for 27% and 11%, respectively.

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