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Securities statistics, first quarter 2023

Released: 2023-06-08

Overall net borrowings by Canadian corporations and governments in the form of debt securities totalled $23.0 billion in the first quarter. This marked the eighth consecutive quarter for which new issues exceeded retirements. This financing activity was led by private corporations and was moderated by net retirements of government instruments.

The total outstanding value of Canadian debt securities, in book value terms, reached $5,527.4 billion at the end of the first quarter, up $12.5 billion from the previous quarter. This increase reflected net borrowings moderated by the downward revaluation from the appreciation of the Canadian dollar against its US counterpart. Nearly one-fifth (18.3%) of the total stock of debt securities was denominated in US dollars at the end of March.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Debt securities issues by sector, stocks at market value
Debt securities issues by sector, stocks at market value

Retirements of government debt securities

In the first quarter, Canadian governments repaid a net $26.6 billion of debt securities, the first repayment since the fourth quarter of 2014. Provincial and territorial governments contributed the most (-$20.5 billion), mainly money market instruments.

The federal government also contributed with net redemptions of $6.4 billion of debt securities in the first quarter. By original term to maturity, net retirements of instruments with a term between 2 and 10 years (-$29.5 billion) were moderated by net issuances in the form of money market instruments (+$10.0 billion) and bonds with a term of more than 10 years (+$13.2 billion).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Canadian debt securities issues by sector, net issuances
Canadian debt securities issues by sector, net issuances

Lower borrowings by financial corporations

Canadian financial corporations were net borrowers of funds in the first quarter, raising $34.3 billion of funds in credit markets, down from $42.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022. Chartered banks continued to lead the activity with net issuances totalling $17.2 billion.

Meanwhile, demand for credit market debt from non-financial corporations rebounded in the first quarter of 2023 as they borrowed $15.3 billion of funds, following three consecutive quarters of net retirements. Issuance activity mainly targeted the Canadian bond market. On an industry basis, firms of the transportation and warehousing industry (+$7.6 billion) and the utilities industry (+$6.3 billion) were the main contributors.

Retirements of Canadian shares continue to exceed new issuances

Net retirements of Canadian equity securities totalled $7.5 billion in the first quarter of 2023, the fifth consecutive quarter for which retirements exceeded new issuances. Non-financial corporations contributed the most, due to share buyback and merger and acquisition activities. Despite net redemptions, the market value of outstanding Canadian equity securities increased by $154.8 billion due to higher prices to reach $3,870.9 billion at the end of the first quarter. Canadian share prices, as measured by the Standard and Poor's/Toronto Stock Exchange composite index, were up by 3.7% in the first quarter.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Canadian equity securities issues by sector, net issuances
Canadian equity securities issues by sector, net issuances

  Note to readers

This quarterly release, available about 70 days after the reference period, includes information on debt securities issues by sector, currency, maturity, type of interest rate and market of issuance, as well as by the economic sectors issuing debt securities in relation with the sectors investing in these instruments. It also includes information on Canadian equity securities by sector and industry. Statistics on Canadian portfolio investment abroad, previously released with Canada's international investment position, are now available with this release. Canadian holdings of foreign securities by type of securities, by currency of denomination, by country of issuer of these securities, and by sector of non-resident issuer are available.

Definitions and concepts used are consistent with the recommendations of the Handbook on Securities Statistics, an internationally agreed-upon framework for classifying securities instruments. Data are accessible through an easy-to-use and flexible visualization tool. The tool includes dynamic cross-tables that allow users to look at the dataset from a variety of dimensions, as well as other visualization layers that illustrate different characteristics of the data in the form of interactive tables and charts.


Securities statistics cover issuances and holdings of negotiable financial instruments. Securities include debt instruments designed to be traded in financial markets, such as treasury bills, commercial paper and bonds, as well as equity instruments such as listed shares.

The book value of a debt instrument reflects the value of the debt at creation, and any subsequent economic flows, such as transactions (e.g., repayment of principal), valuation changes (independent of changes in its market price) and other changes. The book value is composed of the outstanding principal amount plus any accrued interest. The market value reflects the value at which securities are acquired or disposed of in transactions between willing parties, excluding commissions, fees and taxes.

Currency valuation

The value of securities denominated in foreign currency is converted to Canadian dollars at the end of each period. When the Canadian dollar appreciates in value, the restatement of the value of these instruments in Canadian dollars lowers the recorded value. The opposite is true when the Canadian dollar depreciates.


The data visualization product "Securities statistics," part of the series Statistics Canada – Data Visualization Products (Catalogue number71-607-X), is available online.

The document "Enhancing Canada's statistics on securities," part of Latest Developments in the Canadian Economic Accounts (Catalogue number13-605-X), is also available.

The Economic accounts statistics portal, accessible from the Subjects module of our website, features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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