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A weak M&A environment is driving a decline in global investment banking revenues, despite rising equity and debt issuance, according to new data from Refinitiv.

Through the first nine months of the year, overall global investment banking fees are down by 12% from last year, as fees for M&A plunged 32%, offsetting a 6% rise in equity underwriting fees and a 7% gain in debt underwriting. Fees generated from syndicated lending were also down 16% year over year.

Investment bankers generated US$77.8 billion in total fees through the first nine months of 2023, which is the weakest total for this period since 2016, the data showed.

Refinitiv also reported that global fees were down by 16% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter — which is also the slowest quarter for investment banking fees since the first quarter of 2016.

JP Morgan led the overall investment banking league tables so far this year, growing its share of the global fee pie by 0.7 percentage points to 7.0%, and opening the gap with runner-up Goldman Sachs, which saw its share decline by 0.4 points to 5.5%.

BofA Securities, Morgan Stanley and Citi, which rounded out the top five, all saw their shares decline.

RBC Capital Markets was the top-ranked Canadian firm, in 12th place, up one spot from last year as its market share climbed by 0.2 points.

BMO Capital markets ranked 22nd, down one place, even though its market share remained steady.

TD Securities rose to 24th place in the rankings, up from 26th last year, as it gained 0.1 points of global market share.