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After a couple of strong years, global merger and acquisition activity slowed in the first half, Refinitiv reports.

Global M&A activity totalled US$2.2 trillion in the first half of 2022, down 21% compared to the same period last year and the lowest level since the pandemic hit.

Alongside the decline in transaction value, the volume of deals was down 17% from last year, Refinitiv said.

The tech sector accounted for about 25% of the first half deal activity, followed by the industrials and financial sectors at about 12% each, the firm reported.

While overall M&A activity dropped in the first half, private equity-backed deals edged 1% higher to US$552.8 billion — a record 26% of the total, Refinitiv noted.

Goldman Sachs led the M&A league tables in the first half, followed by JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities and Citi.

RBC Capital Markets was the only Canadian firm in the top 25 globally, ranking 21st overall, down from 13th place last year.