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Egypt leads Arab world in mergers, acquisitions

Within last three months, Egypt saw most corporate buyouts in region according to new report released by Capital Link Globe Institute

Ahram Online, Thursday 26 Jul 2012

Mergers and acquisitions in the Arab world increased from April to June of this year compared with the previous quarter. Forty-three transactions were announced during the period, worth a total value of some $16.73 billion.

Ten of the transactions in question still require approval from the relevant bodies, according to a report released by the Capital Link Globe Institute, which specialises in news on mergers and acquisitions worldwide.

Despite Egypt's current state of political uncertainty and economic malaise, the country boasted the largest number of major corporate transactions in the region for the period, including eight mergers and acquisitions. The most significant of these was France Telecom's takeover of Egyptian mobile-phone provider Mobinil in a $2.96 billion tender offer.

The United Arab Emirates came in second with six major corporate transactions, followed by Kuwait with five.

On the purchasing side, Qatar came in the first place with six transactions, mostly carried out by the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund. The Emirates came in second place with five transactions, then Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with three and two, respectively.

Egypt came in last in terms of purchasing, with current conditions not affording sufficient liquidity to local firms with which to finance such transactions, according to Capital Link Globe Institute

The financial sector, meanwhile, topped the list with five transactions. This was followed by the services sector, with three transactions. The health, tourism, entertainment and media sectors all shared third place with two transactions each.

The total value of announced transactions in the Arab world grew significantly in the second quarter of 2012. In the first quarter of the year, which saw 34 transactions, the figure stood at $1.6 billion.

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