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Bank of America ousts Goldman as top Mena M&A adviser 

A man uses a Bank of America cash dispenser. The bank advised on two multibillion-dollar mergers in H1 2023 Reuters/Nacho Doce
A man uses a Bank of America cash dispenser. The bank advised on two multibillion-dollar mergers in H1 2023
  • BoA advised on deals worth nearly $10bn in first half of 2023
  • Goldman Sachs, which topped the list in 2022, slipped to 4th place
  • M&A legal advisers have also been ranked by GlobalData

Bank of America was the top M&A financial adviser in the Middle East and Africa during the first half of 2023, according to research from GlobalData.

The US bank advised on two deals worth a combined $9.86 billion in H1. This was more than double the sum recorded by JP Morgan, which took second place in the ranking by deal value.

“Bank of America was just shy of hitting the $10 billion mark in total deal value,” said Aurojyoti Bose, lead analyst at GlobalData.

“It not only led by value but also outpaced its peers by a significant margin. Bank of America also occupied the sixth position by volume.”

Bank of America has risen quickly in the ranking. In the first half of 2022, it was 15th for deal value.

JP Morgan has been beefing up its global presence in recent years, particularly in commercial banking. The New York-based bank is targeting expansion to Israel this year.

Lazard's deals represent a 17.3 percent increase on H1 last year. The Bermuda-based company has offices in Riyadh and Dubai.

It has reportedly been courting Saudi Arabia for deals, including exploring funding options and a potential initial public offering of Masar, a $27 billion giga-project in Mecca.

It has also been reported that Lazard is working with the kingdom on aspects of the $500 billion Neom development.

Goldman Sachs topped the chart for H1 2022, but in the first half of this year the value of deals it brokered was down 80 percent. The investment bank has been pursuing regional expansion. It already has a Dubai office and is reportedly planning to open an Abu Dhabi base.

Rothschild & Co's deal value came from five transactions — the largest number of any bank in the ranking.

There are signals that these banks may struggle to keep up this pace for the rest of the year. The global value of M&A activity fell to $732.82 billion in the second quarter of 2023, down from $1.14 trillion in Q2 2022, according to Dealogic on June 29.

GlobalData also examined the Middle East and Africa's top legal advisers.

New York’s White & Case came out on top, advising on six deals worth $5.3 billion. This was up 1.3 percent on last year.

Although the banking list was dominated by US and European firms, the legal advisers were more diverse: two of the top 10 firms were Indian and two Israeli.