Investment banking fees in Middle East & North Africa (MENA) totalled US$591 million during the first half of 2021, a decrease of 4% from the same period last year. Fees earned from Mergers & Acquisitions generated US191.4 million, down 30% from the same period in 2020. However, a strong recovery in M&A fees was recorded from Q1 2021, increasing 838% from last quarter. ECM underwriting fees more than doubled to US$46.4 million, the highest total since 2018. Bond underwriting fees recorded its strongest first half since our records began generating US$198.5 million in fees, an increase of 14% from the same period last year. Bond underwriting fees also made up 34% of total fees, the highest proportion since our records began. Syndicated lending fees increased 4% to US$154.9 million, making up a quarter of fees earned in the first half of 2021. Energy and power accounted for 35% of fees in MENA, while financials accounted for 33%. JP Morgan earned the most investment banking fees in the region with a total of US$71.6 million, followed by HSBC with US$50 million. First Abu Dhabi Bank was the highest-ranked regional bank placed 5th with US$31.1 million fees generated so far this year.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Announced M&A transactions with any MENA involvement reached US$44.8 billion during the first half of 2021, a 9% decrease in value compared to the same period last year. MENA Target M&A also fell 9% in the first half of 2021 with US$35.8 billion in total deal value. A third of this value came from the US$12.4 billion deal of Saudi oil producer Aramco selling a 49% stake in its pipelines business to the US based EIG Global Energy Partners. Outbound M&A recorded a 63% increase so far in 2021, with a total of US$ 7.7 billion in deal value and the highest year-to-date total since 2016. United Kingdom was the most targeted nation for Outbound M&A in MENA followed by the United States. Inbound M&A recorded its best start to the year since our records began with US$21.7 billion in deal value and 157 deals, which is the most recorded in the first half of the year in MENA. Domestic M&A in the MENA region fell 34% from the same period last year accounting for US$14.1 billion so far this year. Saudi Arabia was the most targeted nation with US$14.2 billion in M&A activity and accounting for 40% of total target M&A. JP Morgan topped the any MENA Involvement and Target M&A league table in the first half of 2021, advising on US$21.7 billion worth of deals.
EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS
Equity and equity-related issuance in the MENA region totalled US$2.1 billion during the first half of 2021, a 139% increase in proceeds and the highest total since 2018. Half of this total came from the largest equity offering of the year with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) follow-on offering of US$1.1 billion. United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the most active country in ECM activity with US$$1.7 billion in proceeds raised. Citibank topped the MENA Equity capital markets league table during the first half of 2021, advising on US$1.4 billion in related proceeds. First Abu Dhabi Bank followed in second with US$266.2 million in related proceeds.
DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS MENA
Debt capital markets (DCM) issuance totalled US$70.6 billion during the first half of 2021, down 6% from last year during the same period. However, the second-highest total on record. 64% of the total came from Investment grade corporate debt, with a total of US$45.6 billion, the highest total year-to-date since our records began. UAE was the top nation for DCM proceeds with US$20.5 billion in related proceeds followed by Qatar with US$18.7billion. Financials was the top industry performing industry, with US$29.5 billion in proceeds. The largest deal of the year so far is the US$12.4 billion bond sale from state energy company Qatar Petroleum Corp. HSBC Holdings takes top spot in the MENA DCM league during the first half of 2021 with US$8.4 billion in related proceeds or a 12% market share.