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The marquis outside of Scotia Plaza in Toronto shows the closing numbers of the TSX at + 252.19 on Tuesday, July 3, 2012.

matthew sherwood The Globe and Mail

Just when you think it can't get any quieter for bankers who deal in equities, it does.

Sales of new stock in Canada fell 12.4 per cent in the first half of the year, according to Thomson Reuters figures. The dropoff in the second quarter was huge, as the amount of stock sold slid by 50 per cent from the first quarter, to the lowest total since the financial crisis. Even sales of preferred shares and structured products, which had held up because they could provide yield, went in the tank in the quarter.

Add that to weak stock trading commissions as volumes for secondary trading plunge and the institutional equities departments of securities firms are suffering like they have not done in many years.

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Transferring to the debt capital markets business isn't exactly an exciting option. Debt underwriters are not doing much better, as primary issuance there is down almost 11 per cent from the year prior, according to Thomson Reuters.

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