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Amid frothy global capital markets, Canadian markets enjoyed a strong first half for underwriting activity, as companies scrambled for financing due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Canadian debt markets had a blowout second quarter, according to data from Refinitiv, with $102.8 billion in issuance activity.

Not only did this mark the strongest quarter on record, but Refinitiv said that proceeds in the quarter were 86% higher than the previous record.

Governments provided the bulk of the new issue activity by raising $70.7 billion in the second quarter. This was up 83% from the prior quarter.

On the corporate side, financials and the energy & power sector were the leading sectors for debt issuance in the first half.

RBC Capital Markets topped the debt underwriting league tables, with National Bank Financial ranking first in domestic government debt and JP Morgan leading the way in Canadian cross border transactions.

Equity markets were also busy with $15.8 billion raised from 139 deals in the first half, Refinitiv reported.

Issuance activity rose by 33% year-over-year.

The tech sector led the way in equity markets, raising $4 billion in the first half, followed by the energy & power, and the industrials sectors.

The Canadian equity underwriting league tables saw a shakeup in the first half with Wall Street giant, Citi, leading the way.

TD Securities ranked second and BMO Capital Markets was third. RBC, the perennial leader in this area, dropped to eighth place.

Additionally, Goldman Sachs led in initial public offerings and Canaccord Genuity topped the rankings for retail structured products.