UAE Middle East M&a leader – report

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Giant flag hoisted in Abu Dhabi on the eve of UAE National Day. Photo –

The UAE, which has leapt six places to 20th in the past five years, has performed strongly on the world’s most attractive mergers and acquisitions markets, according to new global country rankings.

The US continues to enjoy the top global ranking in terms of M&A maturity, closely followed by Singapore, the 2012 M&A Maturity Index report said. The UK follows in third position ahead of Hong Kong in fourth.

“The UAE has benefited from developments in its financial infrastructure and economic growth which have helped to boost its score. While the UAE’s infrastructure and assets help to make its M&A market attractive, it is ranked lower in the technological categories that will be key to its future growth,” Alexis Karklins-Marchay, Emerging Markets Center Leader at Ernst & Young, said.

Malaysia jumped seven places to 18th in the rankings over five years, an indicator of significant improvements noted its regulatory and political environments.

The annual Index, published by the M&A Research Center at Cass Business School in collaboration with Ernst & Young, ranks 148 countries on their ability to attract both domestic and cross border M&A deals. The rankings are based on an analysis of a country’s regulatory, political, economic and financial environments, along with its technological capability, socio-economic characteristics, infrastructure and assets.

The report expressed skepticism about the state of the American economy and predicted that emerging economies will continue to perform impressively in near future.

“The US continues to be the world’s foremost location for M&A, however it is clear that Asia as a region is on the rise. The fact that a country is highly ranked does not necessarily suggest that it currently has high values or volumes of M&A – these are not yet present for many emerging nations – but top rankings do suggest strong conditions for M&A to grow and thrive,” Anna Faelten, Deputy Director of Cass’s M&A Research Center, said.

Across the Index, a country’s technological developments and socio-economic characteristics were found to be the most important factors driving M&A volume, ahead of its economic and financial characteristics.

Other high-climbers over the five past years include Poland (up 5 places to 30), Romania (up 13 to 36), Turkey (up 7 to 37), India (up 5 to 38), Kazakhstan (up 6 to 40), and Morocco (up 8 to 47).

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