Middle East merger and acquisition activity up by more than 50% – report

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A Thomson Reuters report on Tuesday said merger and acquisition activity in the Middle East during the first nine months of 2012 stood 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.

According to Russell Haworth, managing director, Middle East and North Africa at Thomson Reuters: “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.

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

Regarding investment banking, the Thomson Reuters 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 findings noted while adding that M&A fees recorded $103.3 million during the first nine months of 2012, down 14% from the same period last year ($120.3 million).

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

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