Middle East mergers and acquisitions (M&As) rose by 23 per cent in 2014 compared with the previous year, with $50.3bn of transactions announced.

It is the highest annual total recorded since 2010, according to research compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The final quarter of 2014 saw M&A transactions reach $22.7bn, more than double the value recorded in the previous quarter, and highest quarter since the first quarter of 2008.

Outbound M&As soared by 74 per cent compared with 2013, reaching $26bn.

Qatar led the way in terms of overseas acquisitions, accounting for 65 per cent of the total outbound acquisition deals.

One of the largest deals was the $9.1bn offer from the Qatar Investment Authority and Canada’s Brookfield Property Partners to Songbird Estates, which owns London’s Canary Wharf.

Domestic and inter-Middle East M&As activity declined in 2014, falling by 12 per cent year-on-year to $14bn. Inbound M&As also declined, falling 30 per cent to $4.2bn.