Mergers and Acquisitions Activity in GCC Region Set to Accelerate

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Mergers and acquisitions activity in the GCC region is set to accelerate as lower oil prices force governments and corporations to consolidate fragmented industries. As the price of oil stays low, investors in the Middle East are active exploring the opportunities to strike deals, said Bank of America Corp. in an investor note earlier in October.

The drop in oil prices prompted companies and governments in the GCC region to analyze their existing portfolio and investments. The decisions to rationalize existing portfolios and reduce expenses are getting bolder.

Oil price’s more than 50 percent slump since the middle of 2014 has already pushed governments to cut spending, privatize state assets and consolidate businesses in sectors such as banking real estate and higher education. Money spent acquiring companies in the Middle East and Africa have increased almost 300 percent in the second quarter of 2016 to about $30 billion, the most in at least 12 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales of assets in the Middle East and Africa also surged last quarter, up almost 200 percent to $8.7 billion, according to the data.

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