Global equity issuance is down year-to-date, and debt underwriting is up, according to the latest data from Refinitiv.

In a new report, the firm said that equity capital markets activity through the first nine months of the year was US$466.0 billion, down 18% from a year ago. The number of issues also declined by about 18%.

The firm said that this marks the slowest first nine months for global equity capital markets since 2012, and the third quarter was the weakest since 2015.

Global initial public offerings (IPOs) have been particularly hard hit. Through the first nine months, global IPO activity totalled US$105.7 billion, down 27% from last year.

Refinitiv said the tech sector led the way in equity issuance, with an 18% market share, followed by financials (16%), real estate (13%), healthcare (11%) and energy and power (10%).

With equity issuance looking weak through the first nine months, global debt market activity took up some of the slack, with US$6.0 trillion in activity during the first nine months of 2019. This represents a 9% increase from last year.

Third quarter debt issuance totalled US$1.9 trillion, which is up 16% from a year ago and in line with the second quarter of this year.

Debt issuance in the tech sector doubled so far this year, the firm said, whereas the retail sector saw issuance drop almost in half.

The report also said that green bond issuance surged by 37% so far this year, reaching US$119.7 billion in the first nine months of 2019.