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.

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