And the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) dropped an enormous 69 per cent in the first three months of 2012 to just 314 deals worldwide, suggesting investors remain suspicious of new floats.
The data showed that the total amount of equity raised on capital markets (ECM) was just $139.8bn (£87.1bn) in 972 deals, the lowest quarterly figure since the start of 2009.
For the second quarter running, the Americas recorded the highest ECM volume of any world region, with $60.2bn raised in 342 deals.
However Dutch cable firm Ziggo has achieved the only float above $1bn in the year to date, while internet-related IPO volume declined by 81 per cent to $712m in the first quarter.
Revenues at investment banks suffered as a result, dropping to $3.1bn for ECM revenue. JP Morgan topped the rankings with earnings of $263m from such deals while Citi leads the global bookrunner volume ranking with $13.1bn and a 9.4 per cent market share.
Although the quarterly figures are poor there is reason to be optimistic that a revival is underway. Total ECM volume in March has been strong with $65.4bn raised on the markets, the highest monthly total since July 2011.