Executive SummaryThroughout Q3 2019, the GCC market observed a total of 30 closed M&A transactions, a slight increase relative to the same period in the previous year and a decline of 3% as compared to Q2 2019. In addition, the UAE was the most active target market during the quarter as it accounted for 43% of the total activity, followed by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, each of whom represented roughly 27% of the total closed transactions. Although the UAE had the highest number of closed transactions, it was the Kuwaiti market that witnessed the highest level of growth as the number of the closed transactions increased by 167% relative to the previous quarter. In terms of Oman and Bahrain, neither of these markets witnessed any closed transactions during Q3 2019.
Furthermore, companies in the GCC were successful in attracting both regional and foreign investors to the market with the majority of transactions being undertaken by regional acquirers. Overall, GCC acquirers accounted for 67% of the total number of transactions, which is lower relative to the previous quarter, where GCC acquirers accounted for 77% of the closed transactions. In addition, a majority of these transactions fell under four sectors which are the Financials, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary and Information Technology sectors. Transactions in these sectors collectively accounted for 60% of the total during Q3 2019. In comparison to the previous quarter, the Industrials sector was the only sector amongst the four sectors that attracted a high level of activity for two consecutive quarters whereas the Financials sector witnessed the greatest level of growth quarter over quarter.