Mergers and acquisitions values in the Middle East and North Africa fell 59 percent in the first quarter, but Egypt bucked the trend and is expected to remain active, an Ernst & Young report said.
M&A deal values for the region declined to $6.5 billion in the first quarter compared to $15.8 billion in the same period one year ago, Ernst & Young said. Deal volumes fell 16 percent to 76 for the same period.
Egypt leads the most active countries with 10 deals, ahead of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan.
"The M&A activity levels in Egypt reflect the potential and great vibrancy within its economy, which will continue to be maintained in the coming quarters," said Phil Gandier, head of Transaction Advisory Services at Ernst & Young Middle East.
The biggest deal, however, was Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company’s $1.94 billion investment in UK bank Barclays.
M&A levels in the region have sunk to historic lows as funding has become scarce in the wake of the economic crisis and as there is still a valuation gap between buyers and sellers.