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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

2016 wasn’t a bad year for Egypt M&A, ECM flow; EFG Hermes and CI Capital make regional league tables

2016 wasn’t a bad year for Egypt M&A, ECM flow. With the headwinds presented by an exceptional spread between official and parallel market exchange rates for most of the year, last year was never going to be the same type of banner year for Egyptian merger, acquisition and initial public offering activity as was 2015. But the latest Reuters Deals Intelligence Middle Eastern Investment Banking Analysis suggests it wasn’t a year over which to commit seppuku:

  • Egypt was the most-targeted nation for inbound M&A, accounting for 44% of flows into the Middle East.
  • EFG Hermes’ advisory on Solb Misr’s USD 1.135 bn sale to the National Service Projects Organization ranked as the sixth-largest Middle East M&A announced last year and the third-largest completed.
  • Eni‘s sale of a USD 1.125 bn stake in the Zohr supergiant gasfield to Rosneft was the seventh-largest transaction announced last year (it was completed in early 2017).
  • Egypt was the third-most active issuing nation on the equity capital markets front, with USD 245 mn in transactions compared with USD 1.4 bn for the UAE and USD 799 mn in KSA.
  • EFG Hermes was ranked fifth on the regional ECM league table with a 6.5% market share, while rival CI Capital eked out a ninth-place finish with a 1.7% share.
  • EFG Hermes’ IPO of cheesemaker Domty was the eighth-largest ECM transaction last year and the third-largest IPO. CI Capital’s advisory to cheese maker Obour Land was the tenth-largest ECM transaction and fourth-largest IPO.
  • The Ismail government’s USD 4 bn eurobond was the fourth-largest debt issue announced last year after competing offerings from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi. Egypt’s eurobond was 3.1x oversubscribed.

Okay, can you put that in context? Total spending on Middle East investment banking fees topped USD 820 mn last year, up 18% year-on-year. Total fees earned on syndicated lending were at a nine-year high, while ECM underwriting fees plunged to a 12-year low and fees generated from M&A were the lowest since 2012. Other highlights:

  • The total value of M&A closed last year in the Middle East was down 16% to USD 46.9 bn; the merger of NBAD and FGB in the United Arab Emirates is both the largest domestic MENA M&A of all time and the largest transaction announced last year. Financials accounted for 355 of all M&A activity with at least one Middle East counterparty, followed by energy and power and real estate.
  • Equity capital market issuances fell 55% in value to USD 2.6 bn last year, the lowest annual total since 2004. Eight IPOs accounted for 35% of ECM activity in the region, with the lion’s share of activity in the healthcare, financials and media & entertainment industries.
  • Debt capital markets activity soared 145% thanks to KSA’s record USD 17.2 bn bond sale, closing the year at USD 77.78 bn.

And before we change gears: EFG Hermes was the only Egyptian firm to make the separate Reuters ranking of financial advisors in its Emerging Markets M&A Review for 2016. EFG Hermes was ranked 21 in the region (ahead of Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch) with three transactions, up from 51st in 2015. The list was topped by UBS, Crédit Suisse, and JP Morgan.

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