LONDON, July 1 Syndicated lending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was up 11 percent year-on-year to $499 billion in the first six months of 2014 bolstered by refinancing activity and a small increase in merger and acquisition financing, Thomson Reuters LPC data shows.
Refinancing transactions remained the main driver of lending activity as the ready availability of cheaply priced credit facilities encouraged many of Europe's top companies make an early return to the market to replace existing facilities on better terms.
"At the start of the year, people were worried about where deal flow would come from, but high levels of market competition saw pricing fall and volumes take-off. There's also been some fee generation through M&A and pre-IPO financings to keep things ticking over," a senior banker said.
Second quarter volume of $298 billion was nearly 50 percent higher than the $201 billion seen in the first quarter, and 39 percent higher than the second quarter of 2013. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)