Global debt, equity issuance soars

By James Langton | October 1, 2020 | Last updated on October 1, 2020
2 min read
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The Covid-19 outbreak may have hammered the global economy, but the economic turmoil is proving a boon to investment bankers, as the latest data from Refinitiv points to record securities issuance this year.

The firm reported that, through the first nine months of 2020, global debt issuance reached US$8.1 trillion.

Global debt market activity was up by 32% compared with the same period a year ago, marking the strongest levels on record.

Additionally, the volume of debt deals in the first nine months of the year topped 20,000 for the first time ever.

Amid the overall record levels, debt activity declined by 21% in the third quarter, compared with the previous quarter, Refinitiv reported.

The report indicated that global high-yield debt issuance also hit record levels in the first nine months of the year, reaching US$415.2 billion, up by 37% from the same period in 2019.

And, green bond issuance totalled US$146.8 billion during the first nine months, up by 23% from last year.

Another record-breaking milestone for the year was in global equity issuance, which reached  US$750.7 billion during the first nine months a 59% increase from a year ago. The volume of equity deals was also up 29% over the same period.

The one dip for the year was in the value of global equity activity, which declined by 10% to US$293.8 billion.

Refinitiv also reported that global initial public offering (IPO) markets raised US$137.0 billion in the first nine months of 2020, up by 26% from last year.

In terms of global underwriting, RBC Capital Markets ranked 12th in the debt market league tables, up from 14th place last year. TD Securities Inc. also saw its debt ranking rise to 16th from 21st in 2019.

On the equity side, RBC was the only Canadian firm in the top 25 globally, ranking 17th overall, down from 10th place last year.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.