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Canada’s new issue market was weak in the first quarter, with both debt and equity issuance down, according to London-based Refinitiv.

Equity market activity was particularly dim, as total issuance came in at just $2.6 billion, which was down by 34% year over year and by 11% from the previous quarter.

Refinitiv said it marked the lowest quarter since the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

While initial public offerings (IPOs) and preferred securities issuance actually jumped in the first quarter (albeit from already low levels), secondary offerings were down 42% year over year.

Debt market issuance was also soft in the first quarter. Total new issue activity came in at $47.8 billion, down by 16% from the same quarter a year ago, and down by 2% from the fourth quarter of 2022.

Despite the overall drop in debt activity, corporate debt issuance was up by 5% year over year to $15.8 billion, and up by 10% from the prior quarter, Refinitiv noted.

Scotia Capital led the equity underwriting league tables, just edging out Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. BMO Capital Markets ranked third, followed by BofA Securities Inc. and National Bank Financial (NBF).

Canaccord led in secondary offerings and IPOs, while Scotia ranked first in retail structured products and BMO led in preferred securities offerings.

On the debt side, RBC Capital Markets was the top firm, followed by Scotia, TD Securities, CIBC World Markets and NBF.

RBC led in corporate debt issuance, while NBF ranked first for government debt.