Singapore investment banking fees up 9.3% in H1 2021

Overall announced M&A activity set the record for the highest semiannual period value-wise.

Singapore investment banking activities generated about $476m (US$354.6m) in fees in the first six months of the year, a 9.3% increase compared to the first half of 2020, according to data from Refinitiv.

Advisory fees for completed mergers and acquisitions (M&A) amounted to US$143.8 million so far this year, more than double or 150.4% higher than those in H1 2020.

Overall Singapore announced M&A activity amounted to US$80.9b as the first half of 2021 approaches to a close, the highest semiannual period on record. This is 82.4% higher than H1 2020.

Meanwhile, Singapore targeted M&A activity totalled US$42.3b during this period, a 71.3% increase from last year

Singapore Investment Banking Fees, H1 2021 (Source: Refinitiv)

Debt capital markets (DCM) underwriting fees grew 58.7% from a year ago, totaling US$88.7 million.

Not everything is rosy, however, as equity capital markets (ECM) underwriting fees dropped 56.4% from to US$45.8m compared to H1 2020. Syndicated lending fees also declined 28.1% from a year ago and generated US$76.3m.

Amongst firms, BofA Securities currently leads in Singapore’s investment banking fees so far in 2021, with a total of US$54.1m or a 15.2% wallet share of the total fee pool.

M&A-wise, JP Morgan currently leads the any Singapore involvement announced M&A league table rankings so far this year, with 45.1% market share and US$36.5 billion in related deal value.

M&A activity sets record
M&A activity recorded its highest semiannual period on record in H1 2021, according to Refinitiv. This was bolstered by the de-SPAC transaction of Grab Holdings and Altimeter Growth Corp valued at US$31.1b– making it the largest Southeast Asian M&A deal on record.

Singapore mergers & acquisitions statistics, H1 2021 (Source: Refinitiv)

At least twelve deals above US$1b were announced this year with an aggregate total of US$55.7b, compared to the first half of last year when six deals above US$1b were announced (worth US$21.6b in total), Refinitiv added.

However, domestic M&A in Singapore remained muted, falling 75.1% from a year ago to total US$4.7b so far this year.

Inbound M&A activity in Singapore reached US$37.6b, five times higher or a 545.4% growth in value from the first half of 2020. Amongst markets, United States was the most active acquiror by deal value and took up 85.8% of the market share.

Outbound M&A activity by Singaporean companies also rose 75.7% in 2021 compared to a year ago to reach US$25.2b in deal value. The United States was the most targeted nation by value, capturing 32.2% market share.

Per sector, majority of the deal making activity involving Singapore targeted the high technology sector. It accounted for 49.4% of the market share and totaled US$40b in value. The real estate and industrials sectors rounded out the top three with 21.5% and 6.8% market share, respectively. 

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