Securities and Exchange trending up
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As governments and companies scrambled to raise funds in response to the economic disruption inflicted by the Covid-19 outbreak, the Canadian underwriting business hit record levels in 2020, according to new data from Refinitiv.

Debt issuance reached $269.7 billion in 2020, led by the record second quarter, which saw $107.8 billion in new debt come to market.

Refinitiv reported that 2020 was the strongest year for Canadian debt issuance on record, well above the previous record of $184.9 billion.

A spike in new government debt led the way in 2020, jumping 67% from the previous year.

Corporate debt issuance was also up by 21% year over year, led by the financial and energy sectors.

The stampede to raise new debt eased in the fourth quarter, Refinitiv reported, as new issuance declined 21% from the previous quarter. But the quarter still generated $45.4 billion worth of new debt across 91 deals.

RBC Capital Markets dominated the debt underwriting league tables in 2020, followed by National Bank Financial. TD Securities Inc. ranked third, followed by Scotiabank, with CIBC World Markets Inc. rounding out the top five.

Unlike the debt business, equity underwriting didn’t reach record levels in 2020. Still, equity issuance did see total proceeds grow by 26% year over year in 2020 to $35.9 billion, Refinitiv said.

The tech sector led the way, accounting for 22% of overall equity proceeds.

The energy & power sector and the materials sector ranked second and third respectively, with market shares of 15% and 14%.

BMO Capital Markets led the Canadian equity league tables in 2020 on the strength of its leading performances in overall equity, secondary offerings and initial public offerings, Refinitiv noted.

In the overall equity rankings, Citi jumped to second place, followed by Scotia, Credit Suisse and TDSI.

CIBC World Markets ranked first in retail structured products, and RBC led in preferred securities issuance.