The exempt market in Ontario continues to grow, raising more than $90 billion for issuers in 2017, according to a report published Thursday from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
The 2018 Ontario Exempt Market Report details activity in the province’s exempt market in 2017. The report shows that total quantity of capital raised in the exempt market surged by 27% to $91.6 billion from the previous year. That is more than double the $45.1 billion raised in 2013, and almost triple the $30.7 billion raised in 2010. The number of issuers that used the exempt market also rose by 17% in 2017 to 2,970.
The vast majority of this the capital raised in 2017 came from institutional investors (98%), amounting to $89.4 billion, while retail investors devoted $2.2 billion to the market. Although retail investors account for a tiny share of the capital raised, they represent 77% of the number of investors in the exempt market, the report shows, with about 22,000 retail investors and 6,500 institutional investors participating the market.
In terms of sector investment, 39% of retail investment went to the real estate sector or mortgage investments. Apart from that, retail investors also sought sectors such as mining, technology and life sciences, alongside the emerging cannabis sector.
The accredited investor exemption is still the primary vehicle for raising capital in the exempt market, according to the report, but that the offering memorandum exemption and the friends and family exemption, which were introduced in the past several years, are gaining traction with retail investors.
Conversely, there haven’t been any reported filings under the crowdfunding exemption since it was adopted in January 2016, the report says.