The value of announced mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with any MENA involvement reached $58 billion during the first nine months of 2020, marking the third highest year-to-date total of all-time, global data provider Refinitiv revealed.

However, the value is down 52 percent from the record high achieved last year with Saudi Aramco’s agreement to buy a stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp for $69.1 billion.


According to Refinitiv, $6.3 billion worth of deals were announced during the third quarter of 2020, down 82 percent from the previous quarter which was boosted by two mega deals - Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank announced plans to acquire Samba Financial Group for $15.6 billion and a consortium of investors agreeing to buy UAE's ADNOC gas pipeline assets for $10.1 billion.

Despite scoring the second highest first nine-month total of all-time, domestic M&A registered a 71 percent decline from last year to $25.2 billion, again due to the Aramco- SABIC deal.

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Inbound M&A, involving an acquirer from outside of the region, increased 36 percent to an all-time year-to-date high of $22.5 billion, while outbound M&A declined 47 percent to $5 billion.

The financial sector was most active, with deals targeting financial companies accounting for 40 percent of total M&A in the region during the first nine months of 2020, followed by energy & power with 21 percent, Refinitiv noted. 

Saudi Arabia was the most targeted nation, followed by the UAE and Egypt.

Morgan Stanley topped the any MENA involvement announced M&A financial advisor league table during the first nine months of 2020 with a 45 percent market share.

(Reporting by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)


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