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Mortgage deferrals at Canada's big banks pile up, association says – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Friday, April 3, 2020 9:35AM EDT


Last Updated Friday, April 3, 2020 9:45AM EDT

TORONTO – The Canadian Bankers Association says the country’s six largest banks have allowed customers to defer payments on more than 10 per cent of the mortgages in their portfolios as borrowers affected by COVID-19 seek financial help.

The association says almost 500,000 requests for mortgage deferrals or to skip a payment have been completed or are in process.

Canadian banks announced a mortgage deferral program over two weeks ago in a move to help those hurt by the steps taken to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The six largest banks said they would allow customers to defer mortgage payments for up to six months among other changes.

More than two million Canadians applied for employment insurance in recent weeks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses shut their doors or scale back operations.

The federal government has responded with the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit as well as billions in new spending to help the economy and fight the virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.

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U.S. Oil Producers Take Their Crude Back From The Government – OilPrice.com

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U.S. Oil Producers Take Their Crude Back From The Government | OilPrice.com

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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    U.S. oil companies have started pulling their crude oil back from government storage tanks, suggesting that the glut that forced them to stash it there in the first place is now easing.

    Companies have taken out some 2.2 million barrels of crude since the start of the month, Reuters reports, citing government figures. That’s out of some 23 million barrels that oil producers had to store at government tanks when they ran out of storage space after the slump in demand.

    Storage space was leased in April after oil prices tanked below zero for the first time in history as traders rushed to offload their positions before the contract expired. Despite the brevity of this particular mini-crisis, fundamentals remained difficult as companies were just beginning to cut production, which left them saddled with a lot of oil they could neither sell nor store.

    President Trump tried to help by ordering the Energy Department to buy some 77 million barrels from the struggling industry. That order, however, was never fulfilled. Renting out storage space was the only viable alternative.

    At the time, there were worries that this additional flow of oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would push its occupancy rate too high, leaving nothing available and sending oil prices downward again. While this did not happen thanks to the production cuts that U.S. producers made, prices remained depressed for quite a while because of these storage space availability concerns.

    This makes the news that Exxon, Chevron, and the other six companies that rented SPR storage space are taking it back all the better. However, those watching the Energy Information Administration’s weekly inventory report might want to bear it in mind in case one of the next reports does not feature a hefty drawdown.

    By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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      BC Ferries will be eligible for federal bail-out funds – CBC.ca

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      Officials say BC Ferries will be eligible to receive federal financial assistance from Ottawa, adding it to the list of other struggling transit agencies eligible for millions in bail-out funds.

      The money comes from the $1 billion already set aside for transportation by both the federal and provincial governments under Ottawa’s Safe Restart Agreement. TransLink and B.C. Transit, facing staggering financial losses, are set to receive a portion of that funding.

      “We are working … to make sure they are able to provide service as they rebuild,” said B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena.

      The federal government announced last month it would be providing $19 billion to the provinces and territories to help fund a “safe restart” of the Canadian economy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the agreement is meant to help governments pay for a variety of needs, including transit, paying for child care, bailing out financially strapped cities, and increasing contact tracing.

      A total of about $2.2 billion in federal transfers will go to B.C., meant to keep people afloat as the economy reopens and to bolster provincial support programs.

      How much each transit authority receives is yet to be decided.

      A statement said the province is working with the agencies “to fully understand the operational and financial challenges resulting from the pandemic before determining what level of relief may be considered.”

      BC Ferries will be required to bring forward a comprehensive relief proposal to the province to ask for the funding, with “all necessary information made available to support the government’s decision.”

      Trevena said restoring ferry service to pre-pandemic levels and “keeping fares reasonable” will be priorities.

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      Canada Goose speeds up e-commerce spending, restricts manufacturing of new clothing as pandemic impact continues – The Globe and Mail

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      Canada Goose jackets are stacked up at a factory in Toronto, on April 2, 2015.

      Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

      Canada Goose Holdings Inc. is speeding up its investments in e-commerce, restricting its manufacturing of new clothing, and cutting back on new store openings, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect its business.

      The company reported on Tuesday that its first-quarter revenue plunged 63 per cent compared to the same period last year, to $26.1-million. In June, Canada Goose projected that sales this quarter would be “negligible” as it was forced to shut down its own stores, and wholesale shipments of its products to other retailers were frozen in the midst of widespread business closures.

      Canada Goose’s net loss widened in the quarter ended June 28, to $50.1-million or 46 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $29.4-million or 27 cents a share in the same period last year.

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      While 21 of Canada Goose’s 22 own stores have now reopened and performance is improving, the Toronto-based outerwear brand said on Tuesday that it also expects a “significant” decline in revenue in the second quarter. The company cut $90-million in costs in the first quarter.

      As Canada Goose prepares for its busiest fall-winter selling season, it is speeding up investments in e-commerce improvements, including a “cross-border solution” to reach international customers in more countries.

      “The online world is becoming increasingly important,” chief executive officer Dani Reiss said on a conference call to discuss the results on Tuesday.

      Canada Goose is shifting its investments in new retail store openings to focus mostly on China, where the economy opened up earlier than in other parts of the world and shopping traffic has begun to recover. With more people around the world staying home rather than traveling this year, the company is hoping to serve Chinese shoppers closer to home rather than counting on its usual sales to Chinese tourists at its stores abroad. Canada Goose will double its store count in China this year with four new stores, and will open three in other markets in North America and Europe.

      While Canada Goose has begun manufacturing jackets again, it plans to produce just one-third of the fall-winter goods it made in the same season last year, and is aiming to “significantly” cut back on its inventory by the end of this fiscal year.

      The company is continuing to take a “brand-first” approach to its inventory, focusing on its direct-to-consumer sales through its website and its own stores, and expecting lower wholesale revenue this year. However, Mr. Reiss said on the call that the company has “enough inventory to chase orders as needed,” and that its wholesale business continues to be important. 

      While many apparel companies cleared out inventory through online promotions over the spring and summer, Mr. Reiss said on the call that the danger of this strategy is that it could “dilute the value” of some products.

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      “We’re a full-price brand,” he said. “Many brands became more promotional, and we did not.” 

      Manufacturing products in Canada gives the company more flexibility to manage its inventory compared to other relying on offshore suppliers, chief executive officer Dani Reiss said in an interview with the Globe and Mail last month.

      “We can react faster. If there’s a shift in demand, we’re able to make smaller runs of styles, closer to the season,” Mr. Reiss said. “We’re self-reliant, that’s the biggest thing. We’re not reliant on a third party to bring us goods.”

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