Highlights from this week’s Thomson Reuters Investment Banking scorecard:

·  AUTOMOTIVE STAKES TOTAL $11.2 BILLION
Powered by Germany’s Volkswagen AG, the volume of minority stake purchases in automotive manufacturers totals $11.2 billion for year-to-date 2009, the biggest year on record.
In this week’s biggest deal, Volkswagen secured a 19.9% stake in Japanese automobile maker, Suzuki Motor Corp, valued at $2.5 billion.  Volkswagen’s 49.9% stake in German rival, Porsche was valued at $5.8 billion and completed on December 7th.  Year-to-date, worldwide M&A activity in the industrials sector totals $244.3 billion, a 9% increase over last year at this time.

·  US REAL ESTATE M&A DOWN 60% OVER 2008
Simon Property Group’s $2.3 billion acquisition of Baltimore-based Prime Outlets Acquisition Co LLC, an owner and operator of shopping centers, ranks as the biggest US-based real estate transaction since Boston Properties Inc acquired New York’s General Motors Building and other properties from Macklowe Properties for $3.9 billion in May 2008.
US real estate mergers and acquisitions, which account for just 2% of overall US M&A, total $12.5 billion for year-to-date 2009, a 60% decline from 2008.

·  LENDING IN SPAIN MORE THAN DOUBLES
Spain’s Urbaser SA, a waste management company, closed a $1.1 billion term loan from a syndicate of banks this week, brining the volume of syndicated lending in Spain to $66.2 billion, more than double last year’s total.
Borrowers in the energy & power and industrials sectors comprise 83% of overall syndicated loans in Spain this year, with multi-billion dollar borrowings from utilities such as Gas Natural ($29 billion) and Iberdrola SA ($6.8 billion) and infrastructure concern Grupo Ferrovial SA ($4.6 billion).