REGIONAL DEBT ISSUANCE REACHES $77.8 BILLION
Thomson Reuters' annual report on investment banking in the Middle East revealed some interesting trends in the sector.
Bolstered by Saudi Arabia's $17.2 billion bond sale in October, Middle Eastern debt issuance reached $77.8 billion during 2016, a 145% increase compared to the value raised during 2015 and by far the highest annual total in the region since records began in 1980. Saudi Arabia was the most active nation in the Middle East debt market, accounting for 29% of overall activity, followed by United Arab Emirates and Qatar. International Islamic debt issuance increased 24% year-on-year to reach $37.9 billion during 2016. HSBC took the top spot in the MiddleEastern bond ranking during 2016 with 13.3% share of the market, while CIMB Group took the top spot for Islamic DCM issuance with a 13.5% share. Middle-Eastern investment banking fees reached $820.8 million during 2016, an 18% increase compared to fees recorded during 2015 and the highest annual fee total in the region since 2008. The value of announced M&A transactions with any Middle-Eastern involvement reached $46.9 billion during 2016, 16% less than the value recorded during 2015 and the lowest annual total in the region since 2013. The $14.1 billion merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank was the largest deal to be announced in the region during 2016, and it is the largest domestic Middle-Eastern deal of all time. Overseas acquisitions by Qatar accounted for 33% of Middle-Eastern outbound M&A activity, while acquisitions by companies based in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates accounted for 28% and 20%, respectively. Inbound M&A fell 30% to $4 billion. Middle-Eastern equity and equity-related issuance totalled $2.6 billion during 2016, a 55% decline year-on-year and the lowest annual issuance total in the region since 2004.