Nordstrom leaves Canada, why flights cost more for Canadians and rental evictions soar: Must-read business and investing stories
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.
Nordstrom to close all Canadian locations
Seattle-based luxury department store Nordstrom has joined the growing list of U.S. retailers unable to turn a profit in Canada. As Andrew Willis and Jason Kirby reports, Nordstrom Inc. is exiting Canada by closing 13 department stores and laying off 2,500 employees by the end of June, after filing for creditor protection. The company, which entered the Canadian market in 2014, has already shut down its e-commerce platform and plans to hire a liquidator. Among the closures are six Nordstrom and seven Nordstrom Rack across Ontario, Alberta and B.C.
RBC says remote work is bad for productivity
In the debate over employees returning to offices versus working remotely, the head of Royal Bank of Canada has made it clear where he stands. During a conference call to discuss the bank’s first-quarter earnings earlier this week, chief executive officer Dave McKay stated that remote work is stunting productivity and innovation, Stefanie Marotta writes. “Society isn’t back together enough,” he said. “All CEOs in every sector I talk to are struggling with a balance of developing talent, promoting talent, building culture, creating productivity.” Canada’s largest bank employs 97,000 people across Canada and the U.S., as well as at offices in Europe, Asia and Australia. While employees may not need to work in offices five days a week, McKay believes that companies likely need workers to show up in person more than current levels. Hybrid work models are also affecting commercial real estate, as demand for office space continues to fall.
As rents soar, evictions rise
With Ontario’s chronic rental shortage driving up prices, landlords in the province are increasingly trying to evict their tenants and take possession of those units. As Matt Lundy reports, the Landlord and Tenant Board, which adjudicates rental-housing disputes in the province, received more than 5,550 eviction applications in 2022, an increase of 41 per cent from the previous year. The surge in “own-use” filings is being driven by communities outside of Toronto. While it’s unlikely that over a year, suddenly more landlords and their family members just feel like moving, the surge may be attributed to landlords who are looking for higher rents. Most people who rent homes in the province are covered by rent control, which holds landlords to modest annual increases. But when units are vacated, landlords can sign leases with new tenants at whatever rents the market will bear.
Canadian passengers can expect to pay more for flights
Canadian travelers planning to book summer flights may be in for a rude awakening, all thanks to airlines’ dynamic pricing. While the practice isn’t new, as Erica Alini explains, it’s a lesser-known strategy reflecting that different geographical markets may have different demand and affordability thresholds for the same flight itinerary. For instance, a Calgary resident recently noticed upon entering his Canadian credit card details on the U.S. version of the United Airlines website that the ticket price of US$968 that he’d been eyeing had turned into a $1,774 charge in Canadian funds – nearly $500 more than what the fare would have been according to the market exchange rate. The two fares reflected a different availability of tickets available for purchase on the Canadian version of the website compared with the U.S. version, United said.
One-fifth of CIBC mortgage borrowers seeing loan balances grow
Twenty per cent of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce mortgage holders are seeing their loan balances grow, as rising interest rates make it harder for them to pay off their homes, Rachelle Younglai reports. New data from CIBC show that $52-billion worth of mortgages were in a position where the borrower’s monthly payment was not high enough to cover even the interest portion of the loans. The bank has allowed these borrowers to stretch out the length of the amortization period and add unpaid interest onto their original loan or principal. Homeowners on variable-rate mortgages have been under pressure because of the jump in interest rates over the past year. These same borrowers also face greater risk when it comes time to renew their mortgages and their amortization periods are required to shrink back to the lengths of time specified in the original contracts.
Introducing the Globe Investing Club
As any professional money manager and hard-working financial journalist would tell you: Stocks are painfully hard to predict. Yet, the Globe Investor team loves to try, and like many people, they enjoy chatting about promising stocks and speculating about which ones will do best. That’s why they’re launching the Globe Investing Club, with a Hot List of promising or interesting stocks. If you already have a well-diversified portfolio and are looking to add a couple of individual stocks, the Hot List can offer some starting points for your own research. Or you can see the Hot List as a fun test of how good a prognosticator you are – and we invite you to submit your own. We’ll collect our readers’ picks and use them to form a Readers’ List of stocks, and deliver updates on how both lists are performing against each other and the market throughout the year.
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.
Rethink Your Job Search Strategy: Think Like a Marketer
Most people start looking for a job out of necessity (e.g., laid off, fired, their job was outsourced, the business closed) without a plan of action or any sense of direction, applying haphazardly to jobs posted online, in panic-like mode.
Furthermore, most job seekers do not view a job search as a marketing campaign. If they did, they would succeed much sooner in their job search, landing a job aligned with their skills, career goals, and “would-like” compensation.
Marketing is all about strategic, tactical positioning.
As a job seeker, you are an expensive product that needs to convince employers that you will solve a problem the company has and earn your keep.
Like any valuable product, you need solid positioning and a go-to-market strategy. A marketing strategy is guided by five Ps:
Similar to a marketing strategy, a successful job search strategy has its own five Ps:
“Don’t just accept whatever comes your way in life. You were born to win; you were born for greatness; you were created to be a champion in life.” — Joel Osteen, American preacher, televangelist, and businessman.
I have yet to meet a job seeker who would not benefit from mapping out some concrete steps, with milestones, that will actually lead them to the employer and job they want rather than simply accepting the job they happen to get, which is the case for most job seekers, and why many employees are unhappy. (They are in the wrong room.)
Using the five Ps of a successful job search strategy, you can create and execute a job search strategy that will yield the results you desire.
Before you begin your job search (networking, reaching out to employers, submitting applications), identify what makes you valuable to an employer. In other words, answer the question: Why should an employer hire you?
Create a unique value proposition (UPS) that will differentiate you from other job applicants. Carefully review the job requirements and the employer’s culture. Assess how your skills and experience match the job requirements and how you are a “fit.”
Hunting for a job requires strategic thinking. Rather than simply applying to job listings, focus on companies you want to work for. With so much churn happening these days, your preferred employer likely has some openings, giving you a chance to get your foot in the door. If there are no current openings, introduce yourself—and then maintain regular contact—along with your background and what value you can bring to the person overseeing the department you would like to work for so your name will be top of mind when an opening does arise. (A job search is a marathon, not a sprint.)
Do your homework on your target employers (e.g., their market, their competitors, and what pains they are experiencing). Obtain information that will impress a hiring manager.
Top talent can spend six months to a year job hunting before they land an ideal (keyword) offer. Job searching requires lots of stamina!
The trick to staying motivated? Set small, attainable goals and milestones to make you feel like you are making progress. For example, attend one networking event per week and establish one professional relationship.
I am all about the elevator speech. Give me a brief overview of who you are, what you do, and what value you can offer. Sadly, many job seekers boast about their abilities without giving concrete examples.
“Hello, my name is [your name]. I’m a digital marketing specialist and have been working in agencies for the past five years. I’ve helped [number] clients streamline their digital marketing strategies and increase their revenue on average by X%. I’m now looking to apply my skills and knowledge within a healthcare organization.”
Your elevator speech should not exceed 60 seconds.
The importance of being comfortable with your elevator speech cannot be overstated. Record a video of yourself to see and access your body language. Eye contact, hand motions, posture, and tone of voice are all critical nonverbal cues during a job interview.
Present yourself to your interviewer as a person, not just as a professional. Hiring managers rarely hire solely based on a candidate’s credentials. This is why they often ask about a candidate’s personality along with making their own judgment.
Consider how your personality traits relate to the position you are interviewing for. For example, for a customer service job, you might say, “I’m a problem-solver by nature. My immediate goal when I speak to a customer is to resolve their issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.” For an administrative assistant job, “I’ve always been an extremely organized person, a skill that served me well in my last job, where my attention to detail helped save the company ten percent on a major account.”
When looking for a job, consider how you see yourself. See yourself as a solution to an employer’s problem. Market yourself as a solution. Think like a marketer!
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credit Suisse, UBS shares plunge after takeover announcement – CTV News
Shares of Credit Suisse plunged 60.5 per cent on Monday after banking giant UBS said it would buy its troubled Swiss rival for almost US$3.25 billion in a deal orchestrated by regulators to try to stave off further turmoil in the global banking system.
UBS shares also were down nearly 5% on the Swiss stock exchange.
Swiss authorities urged UBS to take over its smaller rival after a central bank plan for Credit Suisse to borrow up to 50 billion francs ($54 billion) last week failed to reassure investors and customers. Shares of Credit Suisse and other banks had plunged last week after the failure of two banks in the U.S. raised questions about other potentially weak global financial institutions.
“Only time will tell how this shotgun wedding is received,” said Neil Shearing, group chief economist for Capital Economics.
Markets remained jittery Monday despite efforts of regulators to restore calm. In the U.S., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said late Sunday that New York Community Bank agreed to buy a significant chunk of the failed Signature Bank in a $2.7 billion deal.
Global stock markets sank, with European banking stocks dropping more than 2%. Wall Street futures were off 1%.
Many of Credit Suisse’s problems were unique and unlike the weaknesses that brought down Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the U.S. It has faced an array of troubles in recent years, including bad bets on hedge funds, repeated shake-ups of its top management and a spying scandal involving UBS.
Analysts and financial leaders say safeguards are stronger since the 2008 global financial crisis and that banks worldwide have plenty of available cash and support from central banks. But concerns about risks to the deal, losses for some investors and Credit Suisse’s falling market value could renew fears about the health of banks.
“Containing crises is a bit like a game of whack-a-mole — with new fires starting as existing ones are extinguished,” Shearing said. “A key issue over the next week will be whether problems arise in other institutions or parts of the financial system.”
Credit Suisse is among 30 financial institutions known as globally systemically important banks, and authorities were worried about the fallout if it were to fail.
“An uncontrolled collapse of Credit Suisse would lead to incalculable consequences for the country and the international financial system,” Swiss President Alain Berset said as he announced the deal Sunday night.
UBS is bigger but Credit Suisse wields considerable influence, with $1.4 trillion assets under management. It has significant trading desks around the world, caters to the rich through its wealth management business, and is a major mergers and acquisitions advisor. Credit Suisse did weather the 2008 financial crisis without assistance, unlike UBS.
Switzerland’s executive branch passed an emergency ordinance allowing the merger to go through without shareholder approval.
As part of the deal, approximately 16 billion francs ($17.3 billion) in higher-risk Credit Suisse bonds will be wiped out. That has triggered concern about the market for those bonds and for other banks that hold them.
The combination of the two biggest and best-known Swiss banks, each with storied histories dating to the mid-19th century, strikes at Switzerland’s reputation as a global financial center — putting it on the cusp of having a single national banking champion.
The deal follows the collapse of two large U.S. banks last week that spurred a frantic, broad response from the U.S. government to prevent further panic.
In a bid to shore up the global financial system, the world’s central banks announced coordinated moves to stabilize banks, including access to a lending facility for banks to borrow U.S. dollars if they need them, a practice widely used during the 2008 crisis.
Credit Suisse Chairman Axel Lehmann called the sale to UBS “a clear turning point.”
“It is a historic, sad and very challenging day for Credit Suisse, for Switzerland and for the global financial markets,” Lehmann said Sunday, adding that the focus is now on the future and on what’s next for Credit Suisse’s 50,000 employees — 17,000 of whom are in Switzerland.
Colm Kelleher, the UBS chairman, hailed “enormous opportunities” from the takeover and highlighted his bank’s “conservative risk culture” — a subtle swipe at Credit Suisse’s reputation for more swashbuckling gambles in search of bigger returns. He said the combined group would create a wealth manager with over $5 trillion in total invested assets.
UBS officials said they plan to sell off parts of Credit Suisse or reduce the bank’s size.
To support the deal, the Swiss central bank is providing a loan of up to 100 billion francs and the government is providing another 100 billion francs of support as a backstop if needed.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde lauded the “swift action” by Swiss officials, saying they were “instrumental for restoring orderly market conditions and ensuring financial stability.”
She reiterated that the European banking sector is resilient, with strong financial reserves and plenty of ready cash. The Credit Suisse parent bank is not part of European Union supervision, but it has entities in several European countries that are.
Last week, when the ECB raised interest rates, she said banks “are in a completely different position from 2008” during the financial crisis, partly because of stricter government regulation.
Investors and banking industry analysts were still digesting the deal, but at least one analyst suggested it might tarnish Switzerland’s global banking image.
“A country-wide reputation with prudent financial management, sound regulatory oversight, and, frankly, for being somewhat dour and boring regarding investments, has been wiped away,” Octavio Marenzi, CEO of consulting firm Opimas LLC, said in an email.
McHugh reported from Frankfurt, Germany. Associated Press writers Jamey Keaten in Geneva, Ken Sweet in New York, Frank Jordans and Emily Schultheis in Berlin, Barbara Ortutay in Oakland, California, and Chris Rugaber in Washington contributed
Investors punish UBS after Credit Suisse rescue, shares plummet
Banking stocks and bonds plummeted on Monday after UBS Group sealed a state-backed takeover of troubled peer Credit Suisse Group AG, a deal that was orchestrated in an attempt to restore confidence in a battered sector.
In a package engineered by Swiss regulators on Sunday, UBS Group AG will pay 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.23 billion) for 167-year-old Credit Suisse Group AG and assume up to $5.4 billion in losses.
Credit Suisse’s recent history is filled with controversy
Credit Suisse shares slumped 62% in premarket trade to a new low while UBS lost 7.1%. Those sharp moves followed a day of heavy selling in Asian financial markets as early investor optimism about official efforts to stem a banking crisis quickly evaporated.
In particular, investor focus has shifted to the massive hit some Credit Suisse bondholders would take under the UBS acquisition, which has added to anxiety about other key risks including contagion, the fragile state of U.S. regional banks and the challenges for central banks as they seek to contain inflation and financial risks.
“It should be clear that after more than a week into the banking panic, and two interventions organised by the authorities, this problem is not going away. Quite the contrary, it has gone global,” said Mike O’Rourke, chief market strategist, Jones Trading.
“The reports that UBS is acquiring Credit Suisse will likely magnify Credit Suisse’s problems by moving them to UBS.”
Under the deal, the Swiss regulator decided that Credit Suisse additional tier-1 bonds – or AT1 bonds – with a notional value of $17 billion will be valued at zero, angering some of the holders of the debt who thought they would be better protected than shareholders in the takeover deal announced on Sunday.
Credit Suisse’s Additional Tier 1 bonds dropped sharply in early European trade with a number of dollar-denominated issues being bid at 2 cents on the dollar, Tradeweb data showed.
The Swiss banks’ share tumble comes on top of what was already a rough day for banks, as investors shrugged off earlier promises by top central banks over the weekend to provide dollar liquidity to stabilise the financial system.
Standard Chartered Plc and HSBC shares each fell more than 6% in Hong Kong on Monday to more than two-month lows, with HSBC facing the possibility of posting its largest one-day drop in six months. The MSCI index for financial stocks in Asia ex-Japan was down 1.3%.
The shotgun Swiss banking marriage is backed by a massive government guarantee, helping prevent what would have been one of the largest banking collapses since the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
Pressure on UBS helped seal Sunday’s deal.
“It’s a historic day in Switzerland, and a day frankly, we hoped, would not come,” UBS Chairman Colm Kelleher told analysts on a conference call. “I would like to make it clear that while we did not initiate discussions, we believe that this transaction is financially attractive for UBS shareholders,” Kelleher said.
UBS CEO Ralph Hamers said there were still many details to be worked through.
“I know that there must be still questions that we have not been able to answer,” he said. “And I understand that and I even want to apologize for it.”
In a global response not seen since the height of the pandemic, the Fed said it had joined central banks in Canada, England, Japan, the EU and Switzerland in a co-ordinated action to enhance market liquidity. The European Central Bank vowed to support euro zone banks with loans if needed, adding the Swiss rescue of Credit Suisse was “instrumental” in restoring calm.
On Monday, Credit Suisse’s banking operations appeared to be business as usual at its major offices in Asia.
Monetary authorities in Singapore and Hong Kong, where Credit Suisse hosts large regional offices, separately said the Swiss bank’s business continued without interruption.
And Credit Suisse urged its staff to go to work, according to a memo to staff seen by Reuters.
In a separate memo, the bank said as part of the takeover if job cuts proved necessary it would be communicated to staff as per guidelines. The bank will also pay bonuses as communicated before and as per schedule, the memo added.
Credit Suisse staff arriving to work in Hong Kong and Singapore on Monday morning, however, fretted about retrenchments and retaining business.
Problems remain in the U.S. banking sector, where bank stocks remained under pressure despite a move by several large banks to deposit $30 billion into First Republic Bank, an institution rocked by the failures of Silicon Valley and Signature Bank.
On Sunday, First Republic saw its credit ratings downgraded deeper into junk status by S&P Global, which said the deposit infusion may not solve its liquidity problems.
There are also concerns about what happens next at Credit Suisse and what that means for investors, clients and employees.
In the memo to employees, Credit Suisse said that once the takeover is complete wealth management clients may want to consider moving some assets to another bank if concentration was a concern.
The deal will also make UBS Switzerland’s only global bank and the Swiss economy more dependent on a single lender.
“The Credit Suisse debacle will have serious ramifications for other Swiss financial institutions. A country-wide reputation with prudent financial management, sound regulatory oversight, and, frankly, for being somewhat dour and boring regarding investments, has been wiped away,” said Octavio Marenzi, CEO of Opimas, in Vienna.
UBS chairman Kelleher told a media conference that it will wind down Credit Suisse’s investment bank, which has thousands of employees worldwide. UBS said it expected annual cost savings of some $7 billion by 2027.
The Swiss central bank said Sunday’s deal includes 100 billion Swiss francs ($108 billion) in liquidity assistance for UBS and Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse shares lost a quarter of their value last week. The bank was forced to tap $54 billion in central bank funding as it tried to recover from scandals that undermined confidence.
Rethink Your Job Search Strategy: Think Like a Marketer
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