Happy Times for Middle Eastern Investment Banking

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A new report says Middle Eastern investment banking fees have hit $356.6 million during the first half of this year.

Dubai International Financial Centre
Dubai International Financial Centre. Middle Eastern investment banking fees rose 28% and reached USD 356.6 million during the first half of this year. Photo: Thamer Al Hassan/Flickr

Middle Eastern investment banking fees have seen an impressive 28 percent increase compared to the same period last year. The current year figures are also the best first-half results in the region since 2010. Thomson Reuters investment banking analysis for the Middle East region shows that regional debt issuance has also reached USD 26 billion during the first half of the year. This is a staggering rise of 40 percent, when compared to the same period last year.

Russell Haworth; “The value of announced mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions with Middle Eastern targets reached $14.7bn during the first half, 30pc more than the $11.3bn witnessed in the region during the same period last year, and marking the best first half since 2008.” — Russell Haworth,  managing director Thomson Reuters Middle East and North Africa

The merger and acquisition activity was most active in the UAE, mainly boosted by the $7.5bn merger of two UAE state-owned aluminum producers. As a result of this deal, materials was the most targeted industry and made up 64 percent of merger and acquisition activity. For outbound Middle East M&A transactions, India was the most popular destination. Telecommunications and real estate sectors remained the most attractive for outbound M&A transactions.  On the other hand, the U.S. recorded the highest value of inbound M&A deals targeting the region.

Banking and capital markets, professional firms and services, and the energy sector (oil and gas) have continued to form some of the biggest M&A deals this year in the region. The UAE was followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait in the Middle East. As these economies continue to diversify their domestic economies and pursue global corporations, the M&A activity is expected to continue with its strong momentum.

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