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Canada's TMX shares surge to one-year high on better-than-expected profit

08/05/2021 | 03:21pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: A TMX Group sign, the company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange, is seen in Toronto

TORONTO (Reuters) -TMX Group shares jumped to their highest level in over a year on Thursday after the Canadian exchange operator reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts' expectations late on Wednesday and said the pipeline for capital raisings has not slowed during the summer.

With Canadian shares setting new records this year, TMX saw capital raisings hit a new high of C$34.7 billion ($27.8 billion) in the first-half, or double from a year ago period.

TMX Group exchanges had 155 new listings in the first half, second only to the Nasdaq, and 21 new international listings, after the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange, according to World Federation of Exchanges data.

Revenue growth, which helped lift second-quarter earnings, was largely driven by a 44% jump by new listings, with smaller contributions from its equities and fixed income trading and clearing business and data and analytics unit, the company said.

"This is the best capital raising market we've had in history," TMX Chief Executive John McKenzie said in an interview on Thursday, referring to the first half of 2021. "If you look at the traction that these companies get after they go public, the majority of them are seeing share price appreciation," he said.

The company expects continued strength in its capital raisings business, as, contrary to expectations, the pipeline for new issuances has not slowed during the summer, the executives said on an analyst call on Thursday.

The shares climbed 3.6% to C$141.12 in afternoon trading in Toronto, the highest intraday level since July 2020. They are up 11% this year, compared with a gain of 3.2% for the Intercontinental Exchange and a 17.1% decline for the London Stock Exchange Group.

TMX saw total trading volumes up 37% in the second quarter versus two years ago, helped by higher activity by retail investors, although they were off from the first-quarter peak.

Volumes in its retail investor-driven Venture and Alpha exchanges were up 60% and 80% respectively from two years earlier, the company said.

"Where we normalize, I can't predict," McKenzie said.

But easier-to-access trading platforms and the availability of products like bitcoin exchange-traded funds that will continue to exist post-pandemic "give me confidence that we should continue to see higher levels of activity than we had pre-pandemic," he said.

Adjusted earnings per share climbed to C$1.90 in the three months through June from C$1.52 a year earlier, the company said in a statement on Wednesday, beating estimates of C$1.72.

($1 = 1.2488 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Diane Craft)

By Nichola Saminather

ę Reuters 2021
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