The Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions reached an all-time high of $112bn in the first half (H1) of 2019, 231% more than the value recorded during year to date (YTD) 2018, according to the Refinitiv report released on Monday.
M&A was driven by state-owned ARAMCO’s $69.1bn acquisition of SABIC, additionally, both MENA target and Inter-MENA/Domestic transactions currently stand at all-time highs rising to $101.2bn and $86.bn, up 375% and 699% from YTD 2018, respectively.
The report indicates that MENA’s inbound M&A also stand at a YTD all-time high of $15.bn, outbound M&A decreased from $6.5bn in YTD 2018 to $4.6bn so far during 2019, the lowest volume since YTD 2004.
The United Arab Emirates ranked first in the top targeted inbound M&A countries with $13.481bn, followed by Egypt with $721m, and Saudi Arabia with $587m.
Furthermore, energy and power deals currently account for 80% of MENA’s involvement M&A by value, followed by the financial sector with a 13.7% market share but counting with 44 transactions, 18 more than the 26 recorded in the energy and power industry.
As for Equity Capital Markets, MENA equity and equity-related issuance totalled $1.1bn so far during 2019, a 73% decrease year-over-year to the lowest level since YTD 2004. With $923m, IPOs represent 88% of the region’s ECM issuance, up from 16% during YTD last year.
Saudi Arabia’s Arabian Centres Co Ltd IPO raised $658.6m and stands out as the biggest deal so far this year, followed by Saudi Arabia’s Maharah Human Resources Co IPO which raised $207m, and Egypt’s Eastern Co follow-on raising $98.8m.
Despite showing a 12% decrease compared to YTD 2018, debt issuance in the MENA region currently stands at the third highest level, reaching $53.1bn so far this year.
Saudi Arabia was the most active nation in the region accounting for 40.5% of activity by value with more than $22bn, followed by Qatar with 29.6% at around $16bn, the UAE with $7.5bn, and Egypt in the fourth place with around $6bn.