First quarter M&A dealmaking in the Middle East (excl. Israel) was up to USD 2 billion, double the Q4 2013 value of USD 1bn, according to mergermarket data. The region is definitely trending upward after hitting a low in 2011.
The report said that a mere five transactions up 85.3% of the total M&A value in the region during Q1 2014, which means that deal size is also growing.
The top deal was the acquisition of the Qatari based Barwa Bank by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, for USD 0.7 billion. Foreign investments into the region have seen a dramatic increase at over twelve times the value seen in Q1 2013. The Netherlands invested almost half of the total inbound value in the region. Outbound deals were also dramatically up 104.2% compared to Q1 2013. Excluding 2008, the United Arab Emirates has been the most active outbound investor for eight years, accounting for a total of USD 4.4bn (67% of the total outbound value). Private equity funds are expected to flow to key markets, such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey, and the favored sectors are consumer, healthcare and education. (Image source: mergermarket)