Dubai: Middle Eastern & North African investment banking fees totalled an estimated $684 million (Dh2.5 billion) during the first nine months of 2018, 8 per cent less than the value of fees recorded during the same period in 2017, according to the latest data from Thomson Reuters.

Debt capital markets underwriting fees totalled $180.5 million, down 13 per cent year-on-year. Equity capital markets fees increased 45 per cent to $74.8 million, a three-year high. Fees generated from completed M&A transactions totalled $101.6 million, a 44 per cent decrease from last year and the lowest first nine months since 2005. Syndicated loan fees reached $327 million, up 8 per cent from the third quarter 2017.

Debt capital markets fees accounted for 26 per cent of the overall Middle Eastern & North African investment banking fee pool, the second highest market share since 2001. Syndicated lending fees accounted for 48 per cent while the share of completed M&A advisory fees fell to its lowest level on record, only accounting for 15 per cent of the market. Equity capital markets underwriting fees accounted for 11 per cent.

Citi earned the most investment banking fees in the Middle East & North Africa during the first nine months of 2018, a total of $57 million for a 8.3 per cent share of the total fee pool; also leading in the M&A advisory league table. JP Morgan topped both the completed equity capital market (ECM) and Syndicated Loans fee rankings with 13.9 per cent and 7.7 per cent of fees, respectively. Debt capital market (DCM) underwriting was led by Standard Chartered with $28.3 million in ECM fees, or a 15.7 per cent share.

As to Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), the value of announced transactions with any Middle Eastern & North African involvement reached $45.1 billion during the first nine months of 2018, 65 per cent more than the value recorded during the same period in 2017 and an eight-year high. Deals with a Middle Eastern and North African target reached an all-time high rising to $27.1 billion, up 89 per cent from the same period in 2017 while inter-Mena or domestic deals were up 106 per cent in the same period.

Driven by Saudi British Bank acquisition of the entire share of capital of Alawwal Bank for $5 billion, Mena inbound M&A currently stands at an all-time high raising to $13.1 billion while outbound M&A increased from $8.5 billion in the first nine months of 2017 to $12 billion so far this year.