Stacking interest rate blocks

Despite a second-quarter retreat, global investment banking revenues were up in the first half, boosted by debt underwriting and merger-and-acquisition (M&A) advisory fees, according to LSEG Data & Analytics.

Global investment banking fees were up 7% to US$57.7 billion in the first six months of 2024, the firm reported. In the second quarter, however, fees were down by 6% from the first three months of the year.

In the first half, bond underwriting led the way, with US$20.8 billion in fees, up 19% from the same period a year ago. M&A advisory fees ranked second at US$15.5 billion, up 3%, and syndicated lending was also up 3% to just under US$14.0 billion.

Equity underwriting was the weak spot, with total global fees down 6% in the first half to US$7.5 billion.

JP Morgan topped the global league tables, with US$4.7 billion in first-half fees, representing 8.1% of the global fee pool, up from 7.0% in 2023, LSEG reported.

Goldman Sachs ranked second, with an estimated 6.2% global market share, up by 0.9 points from last year. BofA Securities was third at 5.7%, followed by Morgan Stanley (4.9%) and Citi (4.0%).

LSEG reported that the top 10 global banks captured a combined market share of 40.9% in the first half, which was up by 5.7 percentage points from 2023.

Among Canadian firms, RBC Capital Markets ranked highest at tenth globally, unchanged from a year ago. TD Securities Inc. climbed to 16th place from 19th last year, and BMO Capital Markets was in 18th place, up from the 22nd spot in 2023.

According to the report, the financial sector was by far the biggest source of investment banking activity, accounting for US$19.8 billion of the first-half fee total, an increase of 16% from a year ago.

The industrials sector was a distant runner-up, generating total fees of US$6.3 billion, followed by the energy and power sector at US$5.7 billion.

By geography, fees were up 22% in the Americas region, LSEG reported, while the Europe, Middle East & Africa region saw fees rise 9%, and fees from Japan were up 7%.

Only the Asia Pacific region (ex Japan) saw a decline, with fees dropping 25% in that market.