April 6, 2017 / 11:22 AM / in 6 months

RBC, JPMorgan lead Canadian equity advisory in first quarter

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Bank of Montreal (BMO) is seen on their flagship location on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) took the top three positions advising on Canadian equity issues in the first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data released on Thursday.

The volume slipped about 13 percent to C$12.9 billion ($9.6 billion) from year-earlier levels, the figures showed. Toronto Dominion (TD.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The five biggest deals of the quarter were in the energy sector, led by Cenovus Energy Inc’s (CVE.TO) C$3 billion offering to help fund its acquisition of oil sands and natural gas assets from ConocoPhillips (COP.N), followed by AltaGas Ltd’s (ALA.TO) C$2.2 billion issue tied to its purchase of WGL Holdings (WGL.N).

RBC and JPMorgan were advisors on both those deals, and TD helped advise the AltaGas offering.

Initial public offerings rebounded after a lackluster 2016, with Freshii Inc FRII.TO and Canada Goose Holdings Inc (GOOS.TO) listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

“We’re seeing a resurgence of the IPO market in Canada. There’s a ton of interest in non-resource names,” said Benoit Lauzé, head of equity capital markets at CIBC.

“We feel the environment is much more stable than it was a year ago,” added Lauzé, who advised on both the Freshii and Canada Goose offerings.

CIBC and RBC were jointly ranked No. 1 for advising on initial public offerings in the quarter.

JPMorgan’s No. 2 ranking for overall equity issuance was the best performance by a foreign bank in Canadian equity capital markets since the second quarter of 2013.

“It does show you that for certain transactions, having a global bank leading or joint leading an equity offering can provide real value,” said David Rawlings, head of JPMorgan Canada.

Rawlings said JPMorgan has been building its equity capabilities in Canada for the last three or four years.

The energy sector represented about 50 percent of new equity issues in the quarter, said Kirby Gavelin, head of equity capital markets at RBC Capital Markets.

“Acquisition-related financing was robust across all sectors,” he added.

($1 = 1.3431 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Richard Chang

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