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Trading activity in Canada's venture capital market was up 75 per cent in May to $562.1-million from $320.9-million a year earlier, according to the Toronto Stock Exchange.

But that level of activity during May, based on the dollar value of trades made on the S&P/TSX Venture index, was down 41 per cent from the $954.4-million in transactions that occurred in April.

On a year-to-date basis the value of transactions has soared 237 per cent to $5.4-billion in 2004 from $1.6-billion in the first five months of 2003. A total of $298.8-million in new equity financings were made during May, down from $362.1-million in April, but up from $114.3-million in May, 2003.

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New equity financings completed in May included $274.3-million in private placements, $18.7-million in initial public offerings and $5.8-million in public offerings. During the first five months of 2004 new equity financings totalled $1.9-billion, up from $661.3-million during the corresponding period in 2003.

The market capitalization of the listed issues on the TSX Venture Exchange was $21-billion.

The biggest percentage gainers in May included Agau Resources Inc., Majestic Gold Corp., class A shares of Central Canada Foods Corp., Rupert Resources Ltd. and International Frontier Resources Corp. Staff

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