Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the Middle East has sunk to its lowest level in a year with just 16 deals valued at AED591m ($161m) in May.

It represented an 83 per cent month-on-month decline in the value of deals and a 45 per cent drop in volume, according to a report published by Zephyr, the M&A database published by Belgium’s Bureau van Dijk.

Oman, Jordan and Kuwait were the most important countries by volume in May, each having four deals. Kuwait led by value with AED532.6m worth of transactions compared with AED51.4m for Jordan and AED7.3m for Oman.

The top deal by value was a AED220m fundraiser by Kuwait’s Shuaiba Industrial Company, which intends to hold a rights issue and will sell 150 million shares. The stock represents a stake of around 73 per cent of the enlarged group.