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The global equity and debt markets both saw new issue activity rise in the first quarter, according to LSEG Data & Analytics.

The equity markets enjoyed their strongest start in three years with $141.1 billion in offering activity, an increase of 16% from the fourth quarter of 2023 (all figures in U.S. dollars). The value of new issue activity was up 1% compared with the same quarter last year, even as the volume of deals was down by 3%, a report from LSEG stated.

Secondary offerings led the way with $95.8 billion worth of deals in the first quarter, up 9% from last year. Global initial public offerings (excluding SPACs) were down 16% to $21.3 billion, and convertible offerings raised $24.2 billion, down 6% from last year.

Market power shifted sharply compared with a year ago with U.S. markets reviving, offsetting a decline in China.

LSEG reported that U.S. markets accounted for 40% of global deal activity, as total proceeds raised in the market almost doubled from a year ago. Conversely, the total value of equity raised by issuers based in China dropped 84% from a year ago to the country’s lowest share since 2006.

For example, U.S. IPO activity more than tripled to $7.3 billion in the first quarter, while Chinese IPO activity fell 78% to $3.1 billion.

As a result, Wall Street firms dominated the underwriting league tables, with Morgan Stanley taking first place, up from second in 2023.

Last year’s leader, Goldman Sachs & Co., fell to fourth as it was also overtaken by JP Morgan and BofA Securities Inc. Citi ranked fifth.

Among Canadian firms, RBC Capital Markets returned to the top 10, taking ninth place in the global rankings, up from 23rd last year.

TD Securities Inc. ranked 14th, up from 28th, and BMO Capital Markets took 18th place, up from 49th last year.

On the debt side, the global markets had a record first quarter, with the total value of new issue activity hitting $2.9 trillion, LSEG reported.

The volume of deals was up 7% from the same quarter last year, while the value rose 16% year over year and was up 53% from the fourth quarter of 2023.

Investment-grade corporate debt deals totalled $1.5 trillion in the first quarter, up 22% from the same quarter a year ago, which marked “the strongest start for global high-grade corporate debt issuance on record,” the firm said.

First-quarter investment grade issuance rose by 72% compared to the fourth quarter of last year, and represents as the second largest quarterly total on record — trailing only the second quarter of 2020 when the pandemic hit and global interest rates plunged.

Additionally, global high-yield debt activity almost doubled — from both a year ago and the previous quarter — to $100.6 billion.

Green bonds also had a record quarter, with issuance totalling $144.3 billion in the first quarter, up 11% from a year ago by value, and up 22% by volume.

The top of the debt underwriter league tables remained unchanged, with JP Morgan leading the way, followed by Citi and BofA Securities Inc. Barclays and Deutsche Bank rounded out the top five.

Three top Canadian firms also climbed the global rankings, with RBC Capital Markets taking 10th place, up from 12th in 2023. TD Securities Inc. took 14th spot, up from 19th, and BMO Capital Markets was ranked 17th, up from 34th.