Global equity market underwriting activity plunged in the first quarter, and debt activity was also down, according to the latest global capital markets review from Thomson Reuters.
Equity capital markets deal activity dropped by 56% compared with year ago levels to US$110.8 billion during the first quarter of 2016, the firm reports.
The number of new issues was also down by 37%. On both metrics, this represents the weakest first quarter for global equity capital markets issuance since 2009.
Secondary offerings make up the bulk of equity capital markets activity, and they dropped 55% to US$83.3 billion during the first quarter. The oil and gas sector accounted for 22% of capital raising during the quarter, followed by real estate (14%), industrials (12%) and healthcare (10%) and financials (9%).
Issuance by China-based issuers rose to a record 18% of market share for equity issuance, the report notes. U.S. companies accounted for 31% of first quarter activity.
On the debt side, capital markets activity held up much better, but still declined by 8% from the previous year to US$1.6 trillion during the first quarter. This was also the weakest first quarter for global debt capital markets activity since 2008.
U.S. investment grade corporate debt offerings held up in the first quarter, generating US$352.1 billion in debt markets activity. Conversely, global high yield corporate debt dropped 65% to US$43.6 billion during the quarter, and emerging market debt issuance dropped 45% to US$37.2 billion.
JP Morgan held the top spot for global equity and debt underwriting during the first quarter. On the equity side, JP Morgan was followed by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley; Barclays and Citi ranked second and third in debt underwriting.
Estimated equity underwriting fees declined 54% in the first quarter to US$2.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters, and estimated debt underwriting fees dropped by 24% to US$5.0 billion during the quarter.