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Falling in M&A activity hits
September, 25th 2009

Global investment banking revenue was down 22 per cent to $38bn over the first nine months of the year as the choppy economic climate put companies off from doing deals, writes Megan Murphy in London.

While Kraft's $10.2bn approach for Cadbury has sparked talk of a revival in the mergers and acquisitions market, the Dealogic figures present a more sobering picture.

M&A fees reached just $8.2bn in the first nine months, less than half 2008's figure for the same period and the lowest total since 2003. The largest drop in revenue has been from deals valued between $1bn and $10bn, generally the meat and drink of the market.

The $2.8bn in fees generated by syndicated loans, meanwhile, was the lowest total since 1996.

Revenue from initial public offerings was also down sharply as the opportunities for public listings remained limited. IPO fees dropped 54 per cent to $1.1bn over the first nine months.

Unsurprisingly, the lion's share of revenue for the top banks this year has come from the capital markets, where a record volume of corporate bond issuance and follow-on share offerings has generated much needed cash for bank bonus pools.

Debt capital market and equity capital market transactions have accounted for a combined 71 per cent of global investment banking revenue.

JPMorgan topped the net revenue rankings for the first nine months, with a 10 per cent share. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs were second and third respectively with a 6.5 per cent share each.

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