Qatar is the region’s most active acquirer of other Middle East based companies and is well positioned to continue that trend, according to Izzat Dajani, the chief executive officer and chairman of Citigroup in Qatar.
“Qatar has been the most active acquirer of Middle East target companies this year and last year,” says Dajani. “With vast and strong liquidity Qatar will continue to be one of the most established acquirers in the region.”
Speaking at the MEED Qatar Banking Summit, Dajani added that as the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) focuses on developing the country as a regional asset management hub, it could help drive mergers and acquisitions (M&A) out of Doha. “If private equity firms come to Qatar as part of the QFC’s push into asset management that will help M&A activity,” he said.
Dajani added that Qatar was well-positioned to benefit from depressed global asset valuations as a result of economic weaknesses in much of the West.
Investment banks are still struggling to get large fees out of regional M&A deals though. “Fees are heavily discounted and quite depressed as a result of the competition among banks to do deals,” Dajani added.