Global investment banks hit record revenues of $79.7bn in H1 2021

Jul 07, 2021 | Ecofin Agency

Investment banks worldwide are enjoying a strong recovery after the Covid-19 period. In the first half of 2021, they reached a record revenue not seen since 2000. Africa is however lagging.

Global investment banks have generated a total of $79.7 billion in revenues over the first half of 2021. According to data reported by Refinitiv, this level is 26% higher than that of the same period a year before.  It is also the highest revenue level since 2000.

The major investment banks in the U.S benefited the most from this good performance. The top five most profitable investment banks in the world over the period include JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Securities, and Citigroup. They account for 32% of global revenues and their combined share is up 1.4% YoY.

JP Morgan alone generated $6.6 billion in H1 2021, being the most active bank on the debt segment. As for Goldman Sachs, it has dominated the share and merger-acquisition market.

Despite this beautiful performance worldwide, Africa seems to remain a minor player. For the third consecutive year, investment banks on the continent have been loss-making in the first half. They generated over the first half of this year an estimated $216 million, down 32% from H1 2020. From a 26% decline in 2019, revenues end up with -36% in 2021.

The details of investment banking activities in Africa are not yet publicly available. But looking ahead to the first quarter of 2021, the debt market is expected to be the most profitable segment. Several countries in the region including Ghana, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, and Cameroon have entered the international debt market to mobilize resources.

Source: Ecofin Agency