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Global investment banking picked up in the first half of 2024, with securities issuance rising to a three-year high, according to LSEG Data & Analytics.

Equity capital market activity rose by 20% in the second quarter (on a quarter-over-quarter basis), pushing total equity issuance in the first half of the year to US$309.6 billion.

The new issue activity was led by the U.S., which saw deal activity up by 41% in the first half of the year, offsetting declining activity in China.

While deal value was up 10% year over year, deal volume was down 3% in the first two quarters, LSEG reported.

Secondary offerings drove the equity activity, with US$203.8 billion in new issuance in the first half of 2024, up 17% from the same period last year, as the number of deals rose 5% year over year.

Conversely, the global initial public offering (IPO) market was weak. Excluding deals involving special purpose acquisition companies, global IPO activity was down 18% in the first half of 2024 — to its weakest level since 2016.

China led the decline in IPO action, with deal activity dropping 81% year over year to US$5.8 billion.

However, the U.S. IPO market revived this year, as new issues surged to US$17.0 billion — which was more than double last year’s level, LSEG said.

JP Morgan took the top spot in the firm’s equity underwriting league tables, jumping from fourth place in 2023 and overtaking Goldman Sachs, which fell to second.

BofA Securities and Morgan Stanley were also pushed down to third and fourth spot, respectively, and Citi rounded out the top five.

Among Canadian firms, RBC Capital Markets ranked highest in 13th place, up from 17th place last year.

TD Securities Inc. climbed to 17th from 25th spot last year, and BMO Capital Markets came in at 19th, up from 32nd place the previous year.

On the debt side, global deal activity also reached its highest level since 2021, as total issuance rose 11% to US$5.4 trillion in the first half of 2024, LSEG reported.

The increase in deal value during the first half of 2024 came despite a 20% decline in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter.

The volume of new debt offerings was up 6% in the period to record levels, the report noted.

Investment-grade corporate debt offerings were up 13% in the first half of the year to US$2.7 trillion, and high yield issuance jumped by 83% to US$222.1 billion, LSEG said.

Green bond issuance was flat in the first half of 2024, at US$267.9 billion, despite a 20% increase in green bond deal volume, according to data compiled by LSEG and The Climate Bonds Initiative.

Green bond issuance was down 14% in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter, LSEG noted.

JP Morgan also led LSEG’s debt league tables, retaining its No. 1 overall spot.

Citi climbed one spot to second place in the rankings, dropping BofA to third. Barclays and Morgan Stanley stayed in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

For Canadian dealers, RBC stayed in 12th place, while TD climbed to 14th place from 19th last year, and BMO jumped into 16th place from 31st spot in 2023.