September 21, 2023


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Canada’s bank earnings, job vacancies and Michael Sabia’s new job: Business and investing news for May 28

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Canada’s bank earnings, job vacancies and Michael Sabia’s new job: Business and investing news for May 28
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Canada’s biggest banks reported their second-quarter earnings this week as concerns about economic downturn threaten the sector.Alex Lupul/The Canadian Press

Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.

The second-quarter earnings from (most of) Canada’s biggest banks

Canada’s biggest banks kicked off this week’s second-quarter earnings season with disappointment. Only one of the Big Six banks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, topped analysts’ forecasts. Meanwhile, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada all fell short of analysts’ expectations. Stefanie Marotta reports that economic uncertainty, inflation and higher interest rates combined forces to hit the profits – and that a worsening economic outlook is prompting lenders to set aside more money for loans that could turn sour. National Bank of Canada will release its results next week.

Michael Sabia expected to be named CEO of Hydro-Québec

Michael Sabia, one of the federal government’s most trusted economic advisers, is leaving his position as deputy minister of finance and finalizing arrangements to become the next chief executive officer of Hydro-Québec. Nicolas Van Praet and Bill Curry report that talks between the Quebec government and Mr. Sabia began after the release of the federal budget in late March. The veteran business leader stepped down as CEO of pension fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in 2019 after a decade at the helm, and has been a central figure in federal policy since the 2015 election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Have a high-school diploma? Canada has a job for you

Job vacancies in Canada have soared as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, but, by and large, these vacant positions have required very little education. According to a new Statistics Canada report, there was a quarterly average of 563,000 job vacancies in 2022 that required a high-school diploma or less. It’s a different story, however, for those with postsecondary education. Last year, there was a quarterly average of 117,000 positions that required a bachelor’s degree or higher – or less than half the volume of unemployed people with that level of education. Matt Lundy takes a closer look at the national shortage of highly educated job seekers in this week’s Decoder.

Ring of Fire project at risk due to red tape, billionaire owner says

Andrew Forrest, the Australian billionaire owner of mining assets in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, says the project is at risk because of red tape, the cumbersome consultation process and persistent delays. The project is a key part of the province and Canada’s plans to become a player in metals for electric-vehicle batteries, but it has sat undeveloped for the better part of two decades. Niall McGee points to unproven economics, tension with Indigenous communities, a lack of political consensus and the gigantic capital cost requirements as reasons behind the glacial pace of development.

Introducing a survey gauging the mood of Canada’s most powerful CEOs

What’s on the minds of Canada’s most powerful CEOs? A first-of-its-kind survey from The Globe’s Report on Business and Nanos Research asked a group of top business leaders, representing companies with combined revenues of roughly $224-billion, to anonymously share their views on trade and investment policy, interest rates, labour shortages, cyber attacks and their overall outlook for the Canadian economy. Jason Kirby reports on a few insights from the survey, including figures that reveal more than six in 10 CEOs believe Canada is on the wrong track when it comes to being a place for businesses to invest.

How common is it for adult kids to help parents financially?

The Bank of Mom and Dad is a common catchphrase for parents helping their adult children, but what do we call it when kids support their parents? There’s also some demographic urgency to the issue. Canada’s population is aging, and life expectancy keeps rising. The 2021 census shows that one of the fastest growing age groups is people who are 85 and older. Rob Carrick wants to dig into the economics, and is asking adults who provide financial help to their older parents to fill out this survey.

Sign up for MoneySmart Bootcamp: If you want to improve your financial fitness, The Globe’s MoneySmart Bootcamp newsletter course is for you. This new five-part course written by personal finance reporter Erica Alini will improve your personal finance skills, including budgeting, borrowing and investing. Subscribe to the MoneySmart Bootcamp and you’ll receive an e-mail a week to work a different financial muscle. Lessons will land in your inbox Wednesday afternoons.

Now that you’re all caught up, prepare for the week ahead with the Globe’s investing calendar.


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