Region set for M&A activity in 2012, reveals DLA Piper survey
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, March 14 - 2012 at 15:08
- PRESS RELEASE
DLA Piper, a global law firm, has revealed the results of the second half of its survey of business leaders in the Middle East. Focusing on M&A activity specifically, the respondents identified areas of opportunity - both geographical and sector-specific - in the Middle East and what factors are needed to ensure an healthy economic environment.
The sector most business leaders believe will offer the greatest M&A opportunities in 2012 is the Financial Services/Insurance sector (47%), this was very closely followed by the Real Estate/Construction sector (46%), but the Hospitality and Leisure/Tourism sector was also a popular response with 41%.
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% of respondents, while 42% 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%), with the Eurozone crisis and insufficient regulatory/legal systems also seen as potential obstacles for M&A (44% 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.
Commenting on the survey, Abdul Aziz Al Yaqout, Regional Managing Partner, DLA Piper Middle East, said, "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. 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."
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