Business leaders see active M&A in UAE
Dubai, March 14, 2012
UAE would have an active M&A (merger and acquisition) sector in the Middle East in 2012, said nearly three-quarters of business leaders in a recent survey.
More than half also felt that Saudi Arabia (68 per cent) and Qatar (56 per cent) would see M&A activity this year, according to the survey conducted by DLA Piper, a global law firm, which focused on M&A activity specifically.
The sector most business leaders believe will offer the greatest M&A opportunities in 2012 is the Financial Services/Insurance sector (47 per cent). This was very closely followed by the Real Estate/Construction sector (46 per cent), but the Hospitality and Leisure/Tourism sector was also a popular response with 41 per cent.
The increased availability of bank lending is regarded as being the type of finance of the most potential benefit to the Middle East according to 56 per cent of respondents, while 42 per cent felt that the increased availability of private equity would help.
However, barriers to M&A activity were cited and the most common in the region is seen to be political instability (59 per cent), with the Eurozone crisis and insufficient regulatory/legal systems also seen as potential obstacles for M&A (44 per cent each).
Equally when asked what factors would most improve economic conditions in the Middle East political stability and more - and better legislation and regulation - were cited as the main catalysts by quite some margin.
“You only have to look at the numbers to see how strongly the business community feels about the potential for M&A activity in 2012,” said Abdul Aziz Al Yaqout, regional managing partner, DLA Piper Middle East.
“Some people may not be surprised by the presence of the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the top three for having an active M&A sector, but Egypt and Libya have respectable numbers behind them after a difficult 2011 for both countries.”
“No one is saying 2012 is going to be an easy year, there are clearly still some obstacles we need to overcome as a region, but business leaders are saying the opportunities are there – and not just in the GCC,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service