| DUBAI, Sept 20
DUBAI, Sept 20 Credit Agricole has
appointed Marc Sfeir to head its mergers and acquisitions
business in the Middle East, sources aware of the matter said on
Tuesday, marking the return of such operations to the Gulf after
a five-year hiatus.
Sfeir, who started at the bank this week, will be based in
Dubai and joins from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, the
sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the
information isn't public.
The bank previously had an M&A advisory team in Dubai but
shifted responsibilities to its Paris base in 2011 as activity
waned in the wake of the global financial crisis and Dubai's
sovereign debt crisis.
However, the appointment of former Citigroup banker
Mazin Manna as senior regional officer of the Middle East and
North Africa in July 2015 has seen the bank review its business
lines with the aim of expanding outside of its traditional
strengths in the region of structured and corporate finance and
capital markets, according to two of the sources.
"It's not a shift, it's confirmation that this region is
important," Credit Agricole CEO Philippe Brassac told Reuters on
the sidelines of a fintech conference in Paris.
Total investment banking fees in the Middle East rose 8
percent in the first half of 2016 on the same period of last
year to $416.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.
However, the same data showed the Middle Eastern M&A market
was sluggish, with the value of announced deals and the fees
secured for completed transactions declining respectively 29
percent to $18.7 billion and 24 percent to $104 million.
(Additional Reporting by Julien Ponthus in Paris; Editing by