An estimated $295.1 million worth of investment banking fees were generated in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) during the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, according to data from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

The fees in the first quarter were 5% less than the value recorded a year ago and the lowest first quarter total since 2021.

Forty-five percent of all MENA fees were generated in Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2024, followed by the UAE (33%).

HSBC earned the most investment banking fees in the region during the first quarter of 2024, a total of $28.0 million, or a 9.5% share of the total fee pool. This was followed by Standard Chartered and Emirates NBD, which generated $26.5 million and $15.2 million, respectively.

Advisory fees earned from completed M&A transactions in the region totalled $39.2 million, a 54% decrease from previous year levels and the lowest first quarter total in three years, LSEG said in its MENA investment banking review, Q1 2024.

Equity capital markets underwriting fees totalled US$26.7 million, down 62% from 2023 and a three-year low.

Syndicated lending fees increased 6% to $83.3 million during the first quarter of 2024, while debt capital markets underwriting fees increased 93% to $145.9 million, the highest first quarter debt capital markets fee total in the region since our records began in 2000.

(Reporting by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)