increase / Eoneren

Canadian capital markets activity — both debt and equity issuance — surged in the first quarter, according to new data from LSEG Data & Analytics.

While the number of equity offerings in the first quarter was down 29% from the first quarter of 2023, the volume of deals was up 24% from the fourth quarter of 2023, and the value of those deals soared 167% to $4.9 billion, the firm reported.

The rise in first-quarter activity came despite the fact there wasn’t a single initial public offering in the quarter — the third straight quarter with no IPOs — and no preferred securities deals.

The deal activity virtually all came in secondary offerings, with a handful of retail structured products transactions too.

According to the report, RBC Capital Markets dominated the equity underwriter league tables with a 37.1% market share in the quarter.

BMO Capital Markets was a distant second, with a 15.6% share, and Goldman Sachs ranked third with 10.4%. Scotiabank and Morgan Stanley made up the rest of the top five.

Debt market activity also rose in the first quarter, with the number of deals rising 18% compared with the same quarter in 2023. The value of debt activity was up 41% to $68.5 billion.

Government and agency debt accounted for 62% of the first-quarter issuance, with corporate debt offerings totalling $21.4 billion.

RBC also led the overall debt underwriter league tables, followed by TD Securities and CIBC World Markets. Scotia and BMO ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

For corporate debt, RBC and TD led the rankings there too, followed by Scotia, CIBC and BMO.