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23 Jun 2024 05:01

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Middle Eastern Mergers & Acquisitions totals US$37 billion in 2014

Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today released the annual investment banking analysis for the Middle East region.

According to estimates from Thomson Reuters / Freeman Consulting,  Middle Eastern investment banking fees reached US$147.25 million during the fourth quarter of 2014, 19% more than the value recorded during the previous quarter. 

Nadim Najjar, managing director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters, said: “ The value of announced M&A transactions with any Middle Eastern involvement reached US$22.7 billion during the fourth quarter of 2014, more than double the value registered during the previous quarter, and the highest quarterly total since the first quarter of 2008.”

He added: “Middle Eastern equity and equity-related issuance totalled US$11.4 billion in 2014, a 173% increase in activity from 2013 (US$4.2 billion), while Middle Eastern debt issuance reached US$3.5 billion during the fourth quarter of 2014, half the value raised during the third quarter.”

Despite the uptick in the investment banking fees during the last quarter, fees earned during 2014 declined 3% from US$776.2 million during 2013, to US$751.7 million. Equity capital markets underwriting fees totalled US$125.1 million in 2014, up 163% from the previous year (US$47.5 million), and marking the best annual total for ECM fees in the Middle East since 2009.  ECM fees accounted for 17% of this year’s overall Middle Eastern fee pool. 

Fees from completed M&A transactions totalled US$159.2 million, down 5% from  2013 and accounting for 21% of the fee pool.  Fees from debt capital markets underwriting declined 27% year-on-year to US$86.8 million, while syndicated lending fees fell 21% to US$233.4 million.

HSBC earned the most investment banking fees in the Middle East during 2014, a total of US$56.9 million for a 7.6% share of the total fee pool.  Lazard topped the Middle Eastern completed M&A fee league table, while HSBC was first in the ECM and DCM underwriting fee rankings.  Mizuho Financial Group took the top spot in the Middle Eastern loans fee ranking.

As for Middle Eastern Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), the year finished 23% up on 2013 with US$50.3 billion of announced M&A transactions in the region, the highest annual total since 2010.  Outbound M&A drove 2014 activity, up 74% from 2013 to reach US$26.0 billion, the highest annual total since 2009.  Qatar’s overseas acquisitions accounted for 65% of Middle Eastern outbound M&A activity, while acquisitions by UAE and Saudi Arabian companies accounted for 15% and 9%, respectively.  Domestic and inter-Middle Eastern M&A declined 12% year-on-year to US$14.0 billion during 2014.  Inbound M&A also declined, falling 30% to US$4.2 billion.

The largest deal with Middle Eastern involvement in 2014 was the US$9.1 billion offer for Songbird Estates, the owner of London’s Canary Wharf financial district, by The Qatar Investment Authority and Canada’s Brookfield Property Partners.  Boosted by this deal, real estate was the most active sector in 2014, accounting for 38% of Middle Eastern involvement M&A.

Citi topped the 2014 announced any Middle Eastern involvement M&A league table with US$15.4 billion.

In respect to Equity Capital Markets, thirteen initial public offerings raised US$7.9 billion and accounted for 69% of activity in the region.  Follow-on and convertible offerings accounted for 22% and 9%, respectively.  Saudi Arabi’s National Commercial Bank raised US$6.0 billion from its initial public offering in November.  It holds the record for the largest Middle Eastern IPO of all-time, and was 2014’s second biggest initial public offering after Alibaba.HSBC took first place in the 2014 Middle Eastern ECM ranking followed by GIB Capital and Qatar National Bank.

Debt Capital Markets were active as well. Bonds issued during 2014 decreased 6% from 2013, to US$37.0 billion. Investment grade corporate debt totalled US$33.4 billion and accounted for 90% of the annual total.  The United Arab Emirates was the most active nation accounting for 48% of activity, followed by Saudi Arabia with 30%.  International Islamic debt issuance increased 18% year-on-year to reach US$39.1 billion. HSBC took the top spot in the Middle Eastern bond ranking during 2014 with a 14% share of the market.

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