| NEW YORK/TORONTO
NEW YORK/TORONTO Jan 5 National Bank of Canada
was the top adviser on Canadian debt issues for
corporations and governments in 2016, ending Royal Bank of
Canada's 10-year reign, data from Thomson Reuters on Thursday
Royal Bank of Canada held the No. 1 position every
year from 2006 to 2015. In 2016, RBC took the second spot,
followed by Toronto Dominion Bank, Bank of Montreal
, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of
The value of debt issues rose 1 percent to C$163.6 billion,
excluding self-led issuance by banks, from about C$162.3 billion
While 2016 started off slowly with increased volatility and
sluggish credit markets, deals started to gain momentum from the
"There was a lot of stress and concern about oil prices and
China. Once oil recovered and Brexit was out of the way, people
realized the world is not going to end," said Sean St. John,
head of fixed income, debt and equity capital markets at
National Bank Financial.
"Oil moved back up and that story alone gave people
confidence," he added.
Oil prices touched a low of $27.10 a barrel on Jan. 20, but
ended the year 45 percent higher at $56.82 after major producers
agreed to cut output to reduce a global supply glut.
The U.S. Federal Reserve's move to raise interest rates
could be a positive catalyst for the market, some bankers said.
The Fed tightened credit in December for the second time
since 2008, citing continued U.S. economic growth and a steady
decline in unemployment.
"That's given people some degree of confidence that this is
a beginning of an increase in rates," said Rob Brown, co-head of
debt capital markets at RBC.
"So that could potentially lead to front-end loaded issuance
next year, with market participants looking to capitalize on
what are still relatively low funding costs before they move
even higher," he said.
Some of the year's biggest deals included several by Canada
Housing Trust, which issues bonds from federal housing agency
Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corp, as well as issues from
Canadian Natural Resources and Sun Life Financial
"It was the year of larger deals. It speaks to the overall
breadth and depth of the market," said Richard Sibthorpe, head
of Canadian debt capital markets at BMO.
Cross-border activity was a robust theme in 2016, Sibthorpe
said, adding that he expected deal volume in 2017 to be very
similar to 2016 levels.
(Reporting by John Tilak and Matt Scuffham; Editing by Richard