MENA M&A transactions records $112bn in H1 of 2019

Mohamed Samir
3 Min Read

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 $, 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 $, 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.

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: LinkedIn: