The UAE has been ranked the 19th most attractive country for M&A activity globally, gaining eight places over the last five years, according to the M&A Attractiveness Index.
The index, published by Cass Business School, ranks 131 countries on their ability to attract and sustain domestic and inward M&A deals.
The ranking is based on the analysis of a country’s regulatory and political environment, economic and financial factors, infrastructure and assets, technological capabilities and socio-economic characteristics.
“The UAE is one of the clear front runners in terms of moving up the rankings as a mature country in our M&A Attractiveness Index,” said Scott Moeller, director of Cass’s M&A Research Centre.
“The UAE’s strong advancements in technology as well as a stable regulatory environment are increasing its potential as a future growth market for M&A activity.”
Moeller said that the entire Middle East region has seen an improvement in deal activity owing to a positive change in the regulatory and financial framework in countries such as the UAE, Yemen, Iraq and Turkey.
The UAE’s M&A market grew steadily in 2013 as its economy showed signs of revival on the back of rising property prices and high business confidence in anticipation of a successful Expo 2020 bid.
A Mergermarket report revealed that the UAE registered $11.2 billion worth of M&A deals up to the third quarter in 2013, the highest total deal value in the region.
M&A activity in the overall Africa and the Middle East (MEA) region was valued at $51.6 billion through the first three quarters of the year, matching the annual total of 2012.
Deal value in the third quarter touched $19.1 billion, up 99 per cent compared to the same period last year. However, it fell 3.5 per cent from the previous quarter.
The report also found that 2013 was the first year since 2007 where all the quarterly deal values crossed $10 billion.
Regionally, the Middle East made up 42.8 per cent of total value in the period between Q1 to Q3 with deals valued at $22.1 billion, 25.6 per cent above last year’s annual total of $17.6 billion.
Emirates Global Aluminium, created from the merger of UAE’s two aluminium giants, Dubai Aluminium Company and Emirates Aluminium, was the deal with the highest value between Q1-Q3 2013 in MEA.