MENA M&A Transactions Hit $54.9B in 2018

Refinitiv, formerly the Financial & Risk business division of Thomson Reuters, today released the 2018 investment banking analysis for the Middle East and North African markets. According to the report, Middle Eastern & North African investment banking fees totalled an estimated US$1.1 Billion during 2018, 4% more than the value of fees recorded during 2017.

Debt capital markets underwriting fees totalled US$217.3 million, down 21% year-on-year but still the second highest fee volume for the region since our records began in 2000. Equity capital markets fees decreased 13% to US$107.7 million. Fees generated from completed M&A transactions totalled US$177.5 million, a 22% decrease from last year and the lowest full year total since 2012. Syndicated loan fees reached US$554.4 million, up 41% from 2017.

Debt capital markets fees accounted for 21% of the overall Middle Eastern & North African investment banking fee pool, the second highest market share since 2001. Syndicated lending fees accounted for 52% while the share of completed M&A advisory fees fell to its lowest level on record, only accounting for 17% of the market. Equity capital markets underwriting fees accounted for 10%. 

HSBC earned the most investment banking fees in the Middle East & North Africa during 2018, a total of US$82.6 million for a 7.8% share of the total fee pool; also leading in the Syndicated Loans league table. Goldman Sachs topped the completed M&A fee rankings with an 18.2% market share. ECM underwriting was led by Qatar National Bank with US$16.2 million in fees or a 15% share while Standard Chartered leads in the DCM space with US$34 million during 2018.

In respect to Mergers and Acquisitions, the value of announced M&A transactions with any Middle Eastern & North African involvement reached US$54.9 billion during 2018, 50% more than the value recorded during 2017 and a 3-year high. Deals with a Middle Eastern and North African target reached an 11-year high rising to US$31.4 billion, up 63% from 2017 while inter-MENA or domestic deals also up 79% from last year.

Driven by Saudi British Bank acquisition of the entire share of capital of Alawwal Bank for US$5 billion, MENA inbound M&A currently stands at an 11-year high raising to US$14.7 billion while outbound M&A increased from US$12 billion in 2017 to US$16.5 billion during 2018.

Energy & Power deals accounted for 29.7% of Middle Eastern and North African involvement M&A by value, followed by the financial sector with a 20.4% market share but counting with 106 transactions, 29 more than the 77 recorded in the Energy & Power industry. Goldman Sachs leads the 2018 announced any Middle Eastern and North African involvement M&A league table. Morgan Stanley and HSBC follow in second and third place.

As to Equity Capital Markets, Middle Eastern and North African equity and equity-related issuance totalled US$9.4 billion during 2018, a 42% increase year-on-year. With US$2.1 billion, IPOs represent 22.9% of the region’s ECM issuance, down from 52% during last year. Orange Egypt follow-on raised US$866 million and stands out as the biggest deal during 2018. EFG Hermes leads the Middle Eastern and North African ECM ranking with a 13.2% market share, followed by JP Morgan and Citi in second and third place, respectively.

Despite showing an 18% decreased compared to 2017, debt issuance in the Middle Eastern and North African region is at its second highest level since our records began, reaching US$84.8 billion in 2018. Saudi Arabia was the most active nation in the region accounting for 26.2% of activity by value, followed by the UAE with 25.7%. International Islamic debt issuance decreased 20% from 2017 to reach US$40.2 billion during 2018. Standard Chartered leads in the Middle Eastern and North African bond ranking for 2018 with a 15.2% share of the market, while CIMB Group Holdings took the top spot for Islamic DCM issuance with an 11.8% share.


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