Skip to main content

Canada’s initial public offering market performed reasonably well in the first half of 2018 despite economic uncertainty over trade with the United States, but analysts say cross-border relations could have more of an impact in the second half of 2018.

Twenty new IPOs generated $1.1-billion in equity since the start of 2018, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Canada. Market growth was down compared with the same period in 2017, which brought in $2.9-billion from 16 issues in the same time period. Analysts noted the large number in 2017 was heavily driven by the Kinder Morgan issue.

This year, the real estate, marijuana and mining industries were trending among new issues that kept the market going. Dean Braunsteiner, PwC’s national IPO leader, said the Canadian market can expect continued growth in marijuana IPOs thanks to the government setting a legalization date for October, 2018.

“Having a date set, it provides that certainty that companies who are looking to go public need around pricing and valuation,” Mr. Braunsteiner said. “I think what you’ll see in the second half of 2018 is a few more [marijuana] companies hoping to go public.”

Mr. Braunsteiner characterized the overall growth as traditional and steady for Canadian IPO markets, with many of the companies ranging between the $75-million and $150-million in value. But he said the trade spat between Canada and the United States could have a larger impact in the latter half of 2018.

“A lot of the uncertainty was created in the last part of the second quarter, so we weren’t expecting it to have too much of an impact in the first half of 2018,” said Mr. Braunsteiner.

“If that market starts to become a bit soft, there will be an issue with companies looking to go public because it’ll have an impact on their valuations.”

Andrey Golubov, a professor at the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, agreed, saying the tariffs going back-and-forth are a factor that could hurt the market.

“That typically has a dampening effect on activity in all kinds of markets,” Mr. Golubov said. “We’ve had lots of uncertainty in the last few years with [the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement] and NAFTA and Trump for almost two years now, so we’ve been in this new normal mode of more uncertainty for a while.”

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe