Securities trending up
© Wang Song / 123RF Stock Photo

Globally, equity capital markets activity rose in the first half, but debt markets activity declined, according to new data from Refinitiv.

The firm reported that equity issuance totalled US$274.5 billion through the first six months of 2023, which represented a 13% increase from the same period last year. The volume of equity issuance rose 10% year over year.

Secondary offerings drove the increase in equity market activity, with total issuance rising 22% in the first half to US$172.2 billion, with the number of deals rising 14% year over year.

At the same time, global initial public offering (IPO) activity was weak, Refinitiv reported, with first half deal activity totalling US$57.0 billion, down by 22% from last year, marking the weakest first half for global IPOs since 2016.

On the debt side, global market activity was down by 5% in the first half to US$4.7 trillion, as the volume of deals declined 6%.

Despite the headline weakness in debt activity, global high yield debt issuance was up 30% in the first half to US$119.5 billion. Investment grade corporate debt issuance was up slightly, rising 1% in the first half to US$2.4 trillion.

Refinitiv reported that green bond issuance totalled US$270.9 billion in the first half, up by 19% from the same period last year, to an all-time high (since records began in 2015).

Green bond issuance was also up 11% in the second quarter on a quarter-over-quarter basis, setting a new quarterly record.

The data indicated that Wall Street firms regained control of the global equity league tables in the first half. Goldman Sachs led the way, followed by Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities and JP Morgan. China’s CITIC, which ranked second last year, slipped to fifth place.

RBC Capital Markets was the only Canadian firm in the top 25 globally, sitting in 17th place, up from the 20th spot last year.

In the global debt rankings, JP Morgan remained in top spot, and BofA took second place, dropping Citi to third place. Barclays ranked fourth and Morgan Stanley was fifth.

The leading Canadian firm, RBC, climbed to 12th place in the global rankings, from 19th last year. TD Securities was the only other firm in the top 25, taking 18th place, up from the 25th spot in 2022.