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B.C. sees record capital raising and market capitalization during COVID-19 pandemic

  • Date:

    2021-07-12
  • Number:

    2021/51

Vancouver – The total market value of B.C.’s  public companies grew nearly 50 per cent in 2020 to reach record highs, despite the impact of the pandemic on global financial markets, according to a new report from the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).

The BC Capital Market Report 2020 shows that the total market value of B.C.-based companies grew 47 per cent in 2020 to $286 billion, compared to 2 per cent growth in the previous year.

“COVID-19 rattled B.C. investment markets in the first quarter of 2020, but they rebounded quickly, demonstrating their resilience and strength even during a global pandemic,” said John Hinze, the BCSC’s Director of Corporate Finance. “Not only did B.C. public companies finish the year with a record market capitalization, they also reported record capital-raising, including filing a record number of prospectuses with the BCSC.”

The annually produced report provides a snapshot of the province’s capital market activity in the calendar year, detailing how much money was raised by B.C. companies and investment funds as well as how much was raised from B.C. investors.

Capital raising by B.C. companies grew 38 per cent to $23.6 billion in 2020, with mining and other natural resource companies leading the way, followed by the real estate and technology sectors.

B.C. is home to 45 per cent of all companies listed in Canada, including more than half of all Canadian-listed venture companies, reflecting B.C.’s role as an incubator for new and growing businesses. While the BCSC regulates more Canadian-listed companies than the Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec securities regulators combined, B.C.’s companies tend to be smaller, with 36 per cent having a market value below $5 million.

The report also provides details of capital-raising for B.C. companies by sector:

  • Mining: Capital-raising increased 125 per cent in 2020, by far the largest capital-raising sector among B.C. companies. In total, 781 mining companies raised $8.1 billion in capital, accounting for 34 per cent of the capital raised by B.C. companies.
  • Technology, communication and entertainment: Capital-raising increased in 2020, as it did in 2019, primarily due to Telus Corporation completing significant financings in both years.
  • Biotechnology: This sector raised $2.3 billion in 2020, a 123 per cent increase, with the majority raised by four B.C. companies, AbCellera Biologics Inc., Zymeworks Inc., Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Real estate: Capital-raising stayed steady, attracting $2.8 billion in investment, a 1 per cent decrease from the previous year.
  • Cannabis: Capital-raising in this sector dropped 67 per cent to $0.67 billion in 2020, continuing to cool down from the frenetic pace after cannabis legalization in 2018.

Overall in 2020, the B.C. capital market – which includes capital-raising by B.C. companies and investment funds, as well as capital raised from B.C. investors – grew 29 per cent to $135.5 billion, delivering a fourth consecutive year of growth.

About the British Columbia Securities Commission (www.bcsc.bc.ca

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

Media Contact:
Elise Palmer
604-899-6830

Public inquiries:
604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393 (toll free)
inquiries@bcsc.bc.ca

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