(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) deal values announced in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region dropped by 59 per cent to 6.5 billion in the first quarter of 2010 compared to deals worth 15.8 billion announced in the same period of 2009. According to Ernst & Youngs MENA M&A update.
The number of announced deals dropped by 16 per cent from 91 in the first three months of 2009 to 76 during the same period of this year, according to a statement sent to The Jordan Times on Tuesday.
However, the total number of M&A announced deals in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the fourth quarter of last year increased from 70 announced deals to 76, while the value of announced deal jumped by 30 per cent from 5 billion to 6.5 billion.
Jordan was among few countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar that saw the highest number of domestic deals with Egypt at 10 deals, followed by Saudi Arabia with eight deals, Qatar and Jordan each at four deals making them the key target countries for domestic deals announced in the first quarter of 2010 in terms of the number of transactions, according to the international company, which is specialised in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.
In terms of total disclosed deal value in the region, Qatar attracted 39 per cent of M&A activity with deals valued at 1.083. billion, followed by Lebanon with 450 million and Saudi Arabia with 381.4 million, said the report.
Phil Gandier, head of Transaction Advisory Services at Ernst & Young Middle East, said the M&A activity levels in Egypt reflect the potential and vibrancy within its economy, which will continue to be maintained in the coming quarters.
Saudi Arabia was the largest recipient of M&A fund inflows with approximately 35 per cent with 102 million of total inbound deals value going to it, closely followed by Lebanon with 100 million and Oman with 49.3 million, he added.
Amongst the top deals were Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Companys acquisition of a 5.2 per cent stake in Barclays Plc. for 1.94 billion which was the largest deal in the first three months of 2010. The second largest deal was Barwa Real Estate Companys acquisition of the entire share capital of Qatar Real Estate Investment Company for 862 million. M1/ Mikati Groups 13.95 per cent stake acquisition of Bank Audi SAL - Audi Saradar Group from EFG-Hermes Holding Company for 450 mill?on came in third place, according to the statement.
In terms of the number of announced deals, the most attractive sectors for domestic transactions in the first quarter of this year include transportation (7 deals), Asset Management (4 deals) and Chemicals (3 deals).
The report indicated that in terms of disclosed deal value, the banking and capital markets were the most sought after sector in the MENA region with deals worth of 916.2 million, followed by real estate with 887 million and asset management with 383.2 million.
The region is traditionally known for the predominance of financial and real estate companies in M&A activity. Industrial and core sectors remain contenders for either government divestment or global expansion, Gandier said.