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Streetwise gives you news and analysis on Bay Street and the world of finance
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Markets are rocky? Tell that to Bay Street Add to ...

It was a rather rough start to the week. Oil, gold and financials – which practically make up the TSX – all slumped, prompting fears of a new downward spiral.

But just one day later, it seemed like none of that ever happened. Though markets were basically flat Tuesday, Bay Street churned out deals like the financial crisis was just a faint memory.

In the course of one afternoon, $710-million of new equity hit the market. If you add in the morning’s activity, the new deals amounted to almost $1-billion.

This wasn’t just a one-off day. Over $2-billion in new debt was issued in Canada last week, more than normal, and over $1-billion in new preferred shares were issued dating back to last Monday.

So much for those shaky markets.

The latest deals include Franco Nevada Corp.’s $340-million bought deal of common shares and Gibson Energy’s latest secondary offering worth $292-million, both led by BMO Nesbitt Burns. Deals of this size would be considered hefty even in stable markets.

Yet these are only two in a string of big deals over the past few weeks. Others include Enbridge Inc.’s $450-million preferred share offering, Pengrowth Energy Corp.’s $300-million common share deal and, wait for it, another $252-million secondary offering out of Gibson just one month ago.

They couldn’t have come at a better time. Management teams have been holed up deciding bonuses, and the recent flurry of deals could (and should) brighten their moods.

Still, the joke could be on investors. Venerable companies – and private equity backers – know that sometimes they only have a short window during which they can issue. Markets can close every so quickly. So while deals are getting done, keep in mind that no one knows where markets will be in a month’s time.

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