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Found 25 results

  1. (Courtesy of The Financial Post) It is pretty easy you sign up with your credit card or debit and few days later you get your gold delivered to your front door I read somewhere else you can buy up to $6000 CDN worth of Gold per day so almost 6 ounces. Scotia Mocatta
  2. CGI profit rises 10.5 per cent The Canadian Press January 27, 2009 at 11:27 AM EST MONTREAL — CGI Group Inc. has reported a 10.5 per cent profit increase in its latest quarter to $79.5-million as revenue rose 11.7 per cent from a year earlier to just over $1-billion. The 25,000-employee international information technology service provider said Tuesday that foreign exchange shifts boosted the top line by 7.4 per cent in its first quarter ended Dec. 31. Pre-tax earnings were up six per cent to $105.2-million. CGI recorded bookings of $775-million in the quarter, down from $1.13-billion a year earlier, while its operating profit margin slipped to 11.4 per cent from 11.8 per cent. The quarter's net income of $79.5-million, 26 cents per share, compared with $71.9-million or 22 cents per share a year earlier, when revenue was $895.4-million. The latest quarter's earnings adjusted for one-time items came in at 22 cents per share, in line with market expectations. The company said it plans to continue a stock buyback which in the past year cancelled 18.5 million shares at an average price of $10.68. CGI ended the quarter with $216-million in cash and $1.3-billion available in a credit line, which CEO Michael Roach said provides “the financial flexibility to execute our profitable growth strategy.” Desjardins Securities analyst Eric Bernofsky commented that investors will likely be concerned about the 31.7 per cent drop in bookings, but noted that year-ago business signings were unusually strong and there is quarter-to-quarter “lumpiness” in new contracts. On the bright side, Mr. Bernofsky wrote in a note, revenue from American clients grew 14.1 per cent on a constant-currency basis, which “should be viewed very positively in light of the current economic climate. As we had anticipated, higher work volumes from the government and health-care verticals contributed to the strong revenue growth.”
  3. Caisse-led bailout met with cautious optimism Central bank and Finance Minister welcome Montreal proposal TARA PERKINS and JOHN PARTRIDGE AND HEATHER SCOFFIELD August 17, 2007 Already coined the "Montreal proposal," the Caisse-led plan to bail out a battered $40-billion portion of the commercial paper market is not a sure-fire solution yet. Jerry Marriott, managing director of asset-backed securities at DBRS Ltd., was blunt when asked whether the proposal is a complete answer to the crisis in the third-party asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) sector. "We don't know," he said in an interview yesterday. Many details of the rescue package still have to be worked out, and it needs more support. But the participants believe they have bought some time and a final deal is in the cards. The agreement was brokered yesterday by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec during a series of meetings in Montreal. The other nine signatories range from heavyweight global banks such as Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings PLC to Canadian players such as National Bank. DBRS, the sole debt-rating agency to rate these securities in Canada, was present for the meetings but says it was not an active participant in devising the plan. DBRS has been taking some heat for its role in building up the sector. Key elements of the plan are to convert short-term debt into longer-term instruments, while also slapping a temporary moratorium on both investors trying to get their money out of the trusts and on issuers seeking financial injections from their lenders to keep the paper afloat. The third-party ABCP market - the portion of the ABCP market not administered by the banks - has been hammered by a sudden exodus of investors and a refusal by many banks and other lenders to honour agreements to provide backup liquidity. The Bank of Canada and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty put out statements yesterday welcoming the Montreal proposal. The plan to pursue an orderly restructuring of the Canadian ABCP market "provides an opportunity for parties to work through the many complex issues related to the market," the central bank said. It also welcomed confirmation from Canada's big banks that they will support their own bank-sponsored ABCP programs. The third-party segment accounts for about one-third of the total ABCP market, while the other two-thirds is dominated by bank-sponsored trusts. "Together, these initiatives should help support the functioning of financial markets in Canada," the central bank said. But sources suggested that the central bank and Finance Department were unimpressed that Canada's big banks weren't further involved in the initiatives to bail out the non-bank ABCP market. An escalating crisis would likely have led to a forced liquidation of the assets in these trusts - a situation that could spread trouble into the broader economy. Mr. Flaherty said in a press release that it's "in the best interest of all involved that sponsors, liquidity providers (including large international banks) and investors (including large pension funds) engage constructively to pursue orderly market solutions to this liquidity situation." He added that one of the attractive features of the proposal is that it "provides time for full information and analysis of these securities." The creation of the long-term notes, which might carry maturities as long as 10 years, is expected to reduce the amount of liquidity risk in the ABCP market, Huston Loke, head of global structured finance at DBRS, said yesterday. Dealers that are part of the consortium have indicated that they would assist in making a market for these notes, "so should implementation of the proposal be successful, it is likely that investors looking to liquidate could do so at a time of their choosing, reducing the likelihood of selling at distressed prices or into a highly volatile credit environment," he said.
  4. http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/montreal-real-estate-tax-foreign-investors-vancouver-1.3704178 A new tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver has real estate agents predicting a spillover effect into other Canadian markets. But it's unclear if Montreal, often an outlier when it comes to real estate trends, will be among them. "I really don't think this is something that's looming for Montreal," said Martin Desjardins, a local realtor. The market here is "nothing compared to what's happening in Toronto and Vancouver," he said. The new 15 per cent tax, which took effect Tuesday, was introduced by the British Columbia government with the intent of improving home affordability in Metro Vancouver, where house prices are among the highest in North America. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said he is examining the possibility of a similar tax "very closely," as a measure to address Toronto's skyrocketing home prices. Experts believe the Vancouver tax could exacerbate the booming housing market in Toronto and, potentially, affect other Canadian cities. Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, said some foreign nationals could turn to areas not subject to a tax — either elsewhere in British Columbia or farther afield. "Certainly I think Toronto and potentially other markets like Montreal will start to become more attractive, because comparatively speaking they will be less expensive,'' Henderson said. However, the Montreal market has so far remained off the radar of foreign investors. France, U.S top Montreal foreign buyers the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the number of foreign investors in the Montreal area is small and concentrated in condominiums in the city's downtown. The report found that 1.3 per cent of condominiums in the greater Montreal region were owned by foreigners last year. That number jumps to nearly five per cent in the city's downtown. Residents of the United States and France accounted for the majority of foreign buyers, while China (at eight per cent) and Saudi Arabia (five per cent) accounted for far fewer buyers. Francis Cortellino, the CMHC market analyst who prepared the study, said it's difficult to determine whether the Vancouver tax will change the situation much in Montreal. "We're not sure yet what [buyers] will do," he said. "There are a lot of possibilities." In Montreal, Desjardins said the foreign real estate buyers most often operate on a much smaller scale, often consisting of "mom and pop investors" or people from France looking for a more affordable lifestyle. "I don't think it will ever be to the point where we'll have to put a tax," he said. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. having recently walked through griffintown from downtown towards verdun i found that while the area is filled with many condo projects most of them look they have been there for quite a while and they all seem to be waiting after one another to 'pop' from the ground ... in the meantime the place still looks awfully desolate and abandoned and you have to think that this has an effect on the health of those projects - it's not like the city lacks any plans for griffintown but don't you think they should be more proactive about it and inject some fund in the neighborhood to help spur the growth of all these residential towers instead of waiting for them to actually get built before they do anything ? chicken and the egg kinda situation now it seems but imo the city should be the first to do actually do something and not the private developers .. after all all these years down the road its the city that will still be collecting tax funds if anything gets built - not the initial investors
  6. Investing in infrastructure A question of trust Chicago pioneers a new way of paying for infrastructure May 12th 2012 | CHICAGO AND WASHINGTON, DC | from the print edition FOR decades America has underinvested in infrastructure—even though poor roads, delayed flights, crumbling bridges and inefficient buildings are an expensive burden. Deficiencies in roads, bridges and transport systems alone cost households and businesses nearly $130 billion in 2010, mostly because of higher running costs and travel delays. The calculated underinvestment in transport infrastructure alone runs to about $94 billion a year. This filters through to all parts of the economy and increases costs at the point of use of many raw materials, and thereby reduces the productivity and competitiveness of American firms and their goods. Overall the American Society of Civil Engineers reckons that this underinvestment will end up costing each family in the country about $10,600 between 2010 and 2020. Yet though investment in infrastructure would bring clear gains in efficiency, there is little money around, and all levels of government are reluctant or unable to pile up more debt. Traditional sources of funding, such as the (flat) tax on petrol, have delivered a dwindling amount of revenue as soaring prices at the pump have persuaded people to drive less. The federal government has been unable to get Congress to agree on other ways to generate new sources of funding for transport, to the point where money for new highways has almost dried up. For years America has talked about a federal infrastructure bank, which would blend private and public finance and would yield returns over a long number of years. Various other countries have tried the idea, but it has never caught on in the United States. Barack Obama wants $10 billion in funding as initial capital for a national infrastructure bank as part of his jobs plan. So far the idea has gone nowhere in Congress. In March the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, announced that his city could not wait for such help from elsewhere and will go it alone. With the speedy approval of the city council he created a new breed of infrastructure finance known as the Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT). The trust is not so much an infrastructure bank with money to hand out, but a city effort to match public infrastructure needs to private investors on a case-by-case basis; something more like an exchange. The city will finance the running costs of the trust itself to the tune of $2.5m. Several financial institutions are already lined up to make investments totalling $1.7 billion, among them Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Ullico, Citibank and JPMorgan. The background to this is that Mr Emanuel wants to spend about $7 billion to rebuild the city of Chicago—on everything from streets, to parks, to the water system, schools, commuter rail and the main airport. Tom Alexander, a spokesman for the mayor, says the city cannot ignore the future as it deals with the present. But raising the money needed for new investment, while maintaining the current infrastructure, is a daunting task. The CIT allows Mr Emanuel to tap the private sector for money, rather than just raising taxes and borrowing. The private sector will invest money in projects and get it back in the shape of tolls, user fees, premium pricing or even tax breaks. The first project is an investment of $225m to make city buildings more energy-efficient. This is expected to reduce annual energy costs by $20m, and the savings will then be used to pay back the investors. The CIT will provide some capital, bond financing and grants. It will also offer tax-exempt debt to entice investors. Returns on investment could vary from 3% on tax-exempt bonds to 8% for equity partners. Private involvement should, in theory, improve the quality of projects that get undertaken. A politically-expedient but financially dubious project would be unlikely to generate enough money to interest private investors. Padding, short cuts or shoddy construction are less likely to be tolerated. And city leaders might in turn overcome their aversion to the efficient pricing of public resources such as parking and busy roads. At the moment, investor appetites are keen and the supply of potential projects looks ample. The project is causing some anxiety in Chicago, though. Although the new trust would leave all the resulting investment under public ownership, the city’s recent bitter experience with a bungled 75-year lease of its parking meters under a previous mayor has left residents fearful. And with reason. For example, experience with public-private partnerships shows that cost-benefit estimates can sometimes prove wildly optimistic. When projects go bad—leaving half-built roads and schools—they become a public problem. Private investment might well end up being recouped in higher user fees. Mr Emanuel is well aware that other cities are watching this experiment with interest. The mayor is a hugely ambitious man, who is undoubtedly keen to leave a lasting legacy, and who some believe may want to remain as mayor for a period of Daleyian proportions. He, of all people, will want to build something that other cities will want to copy, not avoid. http://www.economist.com/node/21554579
  7. Are Bay Street's golden days coming to an end? Eoin Callan, Financial Post Published: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 Some of Canada’s banks are already exploring ways to change their reward structure for investment bankers to avoid creating incentives for dealmakers to hastily arrange risky deals and walk away after collecting their bonuses.ReutersSome of Canada’s banks are already exploring ways to change their reward structure for investment bankers to avoid creating incentives for dealmakers to hastily arrange risky deals and walk away after ... When Ed Clark receives his multi-million-dollar bonus next week, the chief executive of TD Bank will face immediate pressure to return the money. Bay Street's best-paid chieftain is being singled out by shareholders after three of his peers handed back their bonuses at a time when bank bosses around the world are being publicly shamed for dragging the globe into the worst recession in decades. The pressure from investors comes amid growing signs that a deep shift is afoot in the way executives and investment bankers on Bay Street are paid that could have a lasting impact on the industry. Shareholders, regulators and politicians are beginning to push for far-reaching changes in incentives in a bid to mitigate risk and help avoid the catastrophic failures that have plunged the global banking industry into crisis. Some of Canada's banks are already exploring ways to change their reward structure for investment bankers to avoid creating incentives for dealmakers to hastily arrange risky deals and walk away after collecting their bonuses. BMO Financial is in the midst of a thorough overhaul of the way it compensates bankers. The review has not been publicly disclosed, but bankers have been told to expect significant changes after similar moves at international banks such as UBS, which has introduced delays and clawback provisions for bonuses. But other banks are likely to be caught flatfooted as Ottawa prepares to sign up to a set of international guidelines on pay for bankers that are being drawn up in advance of an upcoming summit of the Group of 20 nations in London. Canada's top banking regulator said Wednesday that a consensus was emerging at a special three-day meeting in Paris "to set out sound practice guidelines on compensation for the consideration of both the [Financial Stability Forum] and the G20." "There is [a] general agreement that supervisors have a role to play in assessing whether institutions meet and implement sound practices for compensation," Ms. Dickson added by e-mail from Paris. Reform of compensation practices at banks to mitigate risk is likely to be one of the handful of tangible reforms to emerge from the summit of world leaders, said John Kirton, director of the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto "There are not many areas of consensus ... compensation is an easy one," said the professor. But policymakers stress that Canada is likely to stop well short of moves by Washington to cap pay or other more interventionist approaches that have accompanied part nationalizations in the U.K. Instead, the approach in this country is likely to involve the supervisor taking into account of compensation schemes when evaluating the level of risk at Bay Street banks and determining the amount of capital they must hold in reserve. This is seen as a more subtle way of pressuring banks to reform their compensation schemes. While a link between compensation and capital requirements would be unwelcome on Bay Street, several bank compensation experts said Wednesday it could create an opening for them to tackle huge wage bills, which are a major cost for financial institutions. But the awarding of hefty bonuses amid a recession induced by the financial system has also triggered a wider social debate about executive compensation, as oft-repeated arguments about retaining "talent" wear thin. While these "moral and ethical" views are not shared by many investors who are critical of executive compensation, they see an opportunity to make common cause. Michel Nadeau, director of the Institute of Governance of Private and Public Organizations, said he was shocked by the level of compensation Canadian bank boards had awarded to executives amid a bruising year for investors. "There is something wrong in that world," said the former executive at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Quebec pension fund. Shareholders are also not shy about enlisting the muscle of securities regulators in pushing pay up the agenda. A shareholder group representing many of the country's largest investors cited executive compensation as its "number one" priority for 2009 during a private meeting this week with Ontario Securities Commission, according to documents obtained by the Financial Post. The group also drew the attention of enforcement officials to a probe launched by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who said Wednesday he was investigating "secret" moves to pay bonuses early at Merrill Lynch. While the investors group did not make allegations of wrongdoing, a person familiar with the discussions said there were precedents for securities regulators investigating compensation matters. The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, which represents investors with $1.4-trillion of assets under management, has also met with the chairmen of each of Canada's top banks. "Compensation is the big issue right now," said Stephen Jarislowsky, a major shareholder in Canadian banks who manages $52-billion. But his immediate focus is next week's bonus award to Mr. Clark, who was paid a $12.7-million bonus by TD last year, making him Bay Street's highest paid executive. "Ed is the worst offender," said Mr. Jarislowsky.
  8. La Financière Power, le conglomérat montréalais propriétaire de l'assureur Great-West et du Groupe Investors, affiche une perte nette de 773 millions de dollars au quatrième trimestre 2008. Pour en lire plus...
  9. Quebec companies getting pummeled By Paul Delean December 12, 2008 Quebec’s economy supposedly is weathering current financial turbulence better than other parts of the country, but you’d never know it from the stock listings. Several publicly traded Quebec-based companies that used to have significant share valuations have plummeted below, or near, the dreaded dollar mark, in some cases becoming penny stocks. The 2008 Dollarama portfolio includes familiar names like AbitibiBowater, Quebecor World, Mega Brands, Garda World, Shermag, Hart Stores and Bikini Village. What happens from here is anybody’s guess. Once stocks start descending to these levels, getting back to past peaks really isn’t the issue anymore. Survival is. Institutional investors are leery. Several actually have a rule against buying shares priced below $5. “What matters are a corporation’s fundamentals, not the stock price. But often, they’re really bad when a company’s stock goes way down in price, and leave you wondering if it’s worth anything at all,” said Benj Gallander, co-author of information newsletter Contra The Heard, who’s been investing in out-of-favour stocks for 15 years with partner Ben Stadelmann. While takeovers are always a possibility, Gallander said companies that really get beaten up usually are not prime targets. “Companies are more likely to buy companies that are going really well, at ridiculous prices, than the ones that are struggling,” he said. What’s making this downturn especially challenging is the tightness of credit, Gallander said. Cash-strapped companies in need of fresh funds are having a harder time with lenders, and investors have cooled to new stock issues. “It used to be a lot easier (for companies) to go to the well and get cash. These days, the competition for funds is so fierce, and not as many people are willing to invest. Investors are more selective. They want to see clean balance sheets, and preferably dividends and distributions, not a lot of debt and a history of losses. Ongoing losses are very dangerous if you don’t have the cash to support it.” Montreal portfolio manager Sebastian van Berkom of van Berkom & Associates, a small-cap specialist, said there are decent stocks in the dollar range, but there are also an awful lot of highly speculative ones. “If someone had the intestinal fortitude to put together the best of these Dollarama stocks into a diversified portfolio of maybe 50-70 names, you’d probably end up doing pretty well. Ten per cent would go bust, 10 per cent would be 10 baggers (grow by tenfold), and the other 80 per cent would do better than the overall market,” he said. But since even the largest and strongest global companies have been battered by this year’s downdraft in equity markets, investors are understandably gravitating to those names, some now at prices unseen in decades. “In this kind of environment, why speculate at the low end when you can buy quality companies at the lowest price they’ve traded at in years? You don’t need to speculate, so why take the risk? That’s why some of the fallen angels have come down so much,” van Berkom said. Some of the deeply discounted companies undoubtedly won’t survive their current woes, Gallander said. The biotech sector, constantly in need of cash tranfusions, is especially vulnerable. “They may have great products in the pipeline,” he said, “but who’ll finance them?” While there is potential upside in some of the names, he considers it a bit early to start bargain-hunting. “I’d be wary of redeploying cash at this point. Even if you pay more (for stocks) in a year, there could be less downside risk if the economy’s in better shape. Personally, I don’t see things coming back for years. There’ll be lots of bargains for a long time.” Here’ are some of the downtrodden, and the challenges they face. AbitibiBowater Inc.: A $35 stock in 2007, AbitibiBowater is now trading around 50 cents. The heavily-indebted newsprint manufacturer recently reported a third-quarter loss of $302 million ($5.23 a share) on flat revenue. Demand is plunging around the world as the newspaper industry contracts in the face of competition from the internet In the U.S. alone, it’s fallen 20 per cent this year. Gallander is one of its unhappy shareholders; his purchase price, prior to the merger with Bowater, was $56.24. “We looked at getting out a few times, didn’t, and got absolutely killed,” he said. “At the current price, there’s huge potential upside, or the possibility in six months that it could be worthless.” Garda World: Investors did not take kindly to the global security firm’s surprise second-quarter loss of $1 million (3 cents a share) and revenue decline of 5.5 per cent. After years of rapid growth by acquisition, Garda – which reports third-quarter results Monday – is talking about selling off part of its business to repay its sizable debt. At about $1.20 a share (down from $26.40 in 2006), “it’s extremely speculative,” van Berkom said. “Rather than offering to buy parts of the business now, competitors may wait to see if it survives and then buy.” Mega Brands: The Montreal-based toy company had a prosperous business until it took over Rose Art Industries of Livingston, N.J., in a $350-million deal in 2005. Since then, it’s taken a huge hit from lawsuits and recalls of the Magnetix toy line it acquired in the Rose Art deal and the stock has plunged from $29.74 a share in 2006 to about 50 cents this week. The company lost $122 million in the third quarter (after writing down $150 million for “goodwill impairment”), just had its credit rating downgraded by Moody’s (which described 2009 prospects as “grim”) and now has to cope with a sharp decline in consumer spending for its peak selling season. Revenue has nonetheless held up relatively well so far, Gallander said, so this one could still be a turnaround candidate. Hart Stores: The smallish department store chain keeps adding to its 89-store Hart and Bargain Giant network in eastern Canada, but same-store sales have been slipping as consumers retrench. Profit in the last quarter was $757,000, down from $1.7 million the previous year. The stock’s dropped even more, closing this week around $1, down from $6.55 in 2006. But Gallander, who bought in at $3.46, still likes the company, which pays a dividend of 10 cents a year. “They’re facing a slowdown, which could hurt the bottom line and the distribution, but so’s everyone else. Few companies can be resilient in this kind of economy.” Groupe Bikini Village: All that remains of the former Boutiques San Francisco and Les Ailes de La Mode empire is 59 swimsuit stores generating quarterly sales of about $13 million and net earnings of less than $1 million. “Our company has come through some challenging times,” president Yves Simard said earlier this year, “and today, we are a stronger company for it.” You wouldn’t know it from the price of the 172 million outstanding shares. Friday, it was 3 cents. The 2008 range has been 10 to 2.5 cents. Boutiques San Francisco was a $32 stock in 2000. Kangaroo Media: It’s had plenty of media coverage for its handheld audio/video devices that allow spectators at NASCAR and Formula One auto races to follow and hear the action more closely, but only one profitable quarter since it went public four years ago. The company generated $2.2 million in sales and rentals in its most recent quarter, but lost $3.4 million (10 cents a share). Loss of Montreal’s Grand Prix race in 2009 won’t help. Shares got as high as $8.19 in 2006 but traded at 5 cents yesterday.. Victhom Human Bionics: Outstanding technology – a prosthetic leg that remarkably replicates human movement – but no significant sales yet spells trouble for the Quebec City company. It had revenue of $531,997 in its most recent quarter, most of it royalty advances, but a net loss of $3.3 million. Investors are losing patience. The stock, which traded at $2 in 2004, has tumbled to 3 cents. Quebecor World: One of the world’s largest commercial printers, it entered creditor protection in Canada and the U.S. last January and seems unlikely to emerge. It lost $63.6 million (35 cents a share) in the most recent quarter on revenue of $1 billion, which pushed the total loss after nine months to $289 million. The stock, as high as $46.09 in 2002, traded yesterday at 4 cents. Unless you buy for a nickel in the hope of getting out at 7 or 8 cents a share, this is probably one to avoid, said Gallander, who prefers to steer clear of companies in creditor protection. Shermag: Asian imports, a contracting U.S. housing market and rapid appreciation of the Canadian dollar pulled the rug out from under the Sherbrooke-based furniture maker, which experienced a 40-per-cent drop in sales in the past year, has lost money for the last 11 quarters and entered creditor protection in May. (It was extended this week to April). A $16 stock in 2003, it was down to 7 cents yesterday. “We looked at Shermag closely before (credit protection), but backed off. They’re good operators, but the way things are now in their business, they just can’t compete,” Gallander said. Railpower Technologies: The manufacturer of hydrid railway locomotives and cranes has a lot of expenses and not many customers, and the economic slowdown won’t help. It lost $7.1 million in the most recent quarter on sales of just $2.9 million. A $6.69 stock in 2005, it traded at 14 cents this week. Mitec Telecom: Revenue has been rising for the designer and manufacturer of components for the wireless telecommunications industry, but it’s still having trouble turning a profit. Through the first half of its current fiscal year, sales grew 63 per cent to $25 million, for a net loss of $1.1 million. The company, which went public in 1996 at $6.50 a share, traded yesterday at 6 cents. Management is doing a commendable job of trying to turn around the company, said Gallander, who has owned the stock for several years. “They seem to be doing the right things, but they’re not out of the woods yet. In normal times, they’d be doing better than now. But the telecom sector, too, will be hit.” [email protected]st.com © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  10. Federal cash could put CFL team in Quebec City RHEAL SEGUIN Globe and Mail Update September 3, 2008 at 3:31 PM EDT The federal government will announce today a multimillion dollar infrastructure program for Quebec that could pave the way for a Canadian Football league franchise in Quebec City. The federal funding includes the expansion and renovation of Quebec City's Laval University sports centre where local investors are offering to expand the football stadium in their bid for a CFL franchise. According to prominent Quebec City lawyer Marc Bellemare, local investors have already set aside half of the $40-million needed to expand the stadium with the other half expected to come from other potential investors once the project is approved. However the head of Laval University Denis Brière has been reluctant in giving his full support to the stadium's expansion for a CFL franchise. “It would be irresponsible to say no to the expansion of the football stadium.,” Mr. Bellemare said on behalf of the anonymous investors in an interview on Tuesday. “The investors need to settle the situation involving the stadium. And then we can move and show the rest of Canada that Quebec City is truly a city capable of attracting a CFL franchise.” According to a marketing conducted on behalf of the investors the marketing firm Impact Recherche, 71 per cent of Quebec City residents support a CFL franchise. The study obtained by the Globe and Mail showed that 43-per cent of the 1001 people polled would be interested in purchasing a season ticket and that 85-per cent believed that Laval University sports centre would be an appropriate location to hold CFL games. The investors worked closely with the Montreal Alouettes in preparing their project for a CFL franchise. Alouette's president Larry Smitth said in a recent local radio interview he embraced Quebec City as a potential CFL franchise location saying it would create a healthy rivalry between the two city that would boost interest for the league throughout Quebec. According to Mr. Bellemare, CFL director general Michael Copeland also indicated to him that Quebec City would be an ideal location for the league's proposed expansion project. Quebec City has one of the most popular university football teams where the Laval University Rouge et Or has attracted as many as 19,000 people to local games in a stadium that only has slightly more than 10,000 seats. The marketing study showed that the attraction of CFL franchise in the city would not have a negative impact on the popularity of local university foot ball games. “The university hold four local games per season. Most of the CFL local games could be scheduled in July and August and would no compete with the university games,” Mr. Bellemare said. “Now it's up to the government to urge the university to change their plans for a new sports centre to allow for the stadium's expansion. Laval University's current $85-million sports centre proposal includes the construction of an indoor soccer field on empty land next to the current football stadium. The city has announced it will inject $10-million in the project with the other $75-million coming from equal contributions from Ottawa and the province. The investors have proposed that the university modify the plan in order to move the soccer stadium further east and use the empty field for the expansion of the football field. Today federal Minister of Transport, Infrastruture and Communities Lawrence cannon will confirm Ottawa's contribution to the university's sport centre proposal. Mr. Cannon as well as Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget are expected to respond to investors' proposal for changes to the University's plan that could pave the way for a CFL franchise in the city.
  11. Greece | Oil | Keystone XL | RRSPs | BoC | Apple | Target | Bombardier How the falling loonie and low rates could lure more foreign investors to Canadian housing Republish Reprint Garry Marr | February 26, 2015 | Last Updated: Feb 26 7:12 PM ET More from Garry Marr | @DustyWallet Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Email Typo? More Jason Payne/Postmedia News, file Jason Payne/Postmedia News, fileLennon Sweeting, a Toronto-based dealer with US Forex which trades in currencies, says the loonie is making housing more attractive to foreign buyers. Canada’s two priciest housing markets may not need the boost, but Toronto and Vancouver could be on the verge of a spike in foreign investment. Toronto's rental market reborn as housing prices surge out of reach for many ‘There’s a huge demand for rental… We are seeing for the first time in 40 years people are starting to build rental,’ says managing director of Timbercreek Asset Management With the loonie falling about 10% against the U.S. dollar in the last six months, foreigners who have their money parked in greenbacks or in currencies pegged to the American dollar are likely to ramp up their interest in the Canadian marketplace, say industry experts. Alberta, which is now facing a crunch of new listings and weak demand, is unlikely to see any benefit as investors run away from the province over oil price fears. “The reputation of the oilpatch here has been tarnished a bit,” says Dan Scarrow, the Shanghai-based managing director of Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre, which was set up just two months ago, and is run by Vancouver-based Macdonald Real Estate Group. He says the opposite is true in Vancouver and Toronto, where prices in January were up 7.5% and 6.1% respectively from a year ago, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. “With the Chinese economy slowing down a bit and with the Canadian dollar depreciating 20% versus the RMB, it might change the calculus of some people of how much they want to leave in China and how much they want to bring to Canada.” To [foreign investors], the Canadian market has gone on sale Mr. Scarrow’s firm caused a stir last year with data it produced from its client base that showed 33.5% of all single-family homes sales in the Vancouver area could be traced to buyers from mainland China. Foreign buyers and their position in the marketplace have been a concern for some market watchers, who fear these investors are inflating housing prices. But there hasn’t been definitive data. Even the chief executive of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., Evan Siddall, conceded there were data gaps. The Crown corporation finally produced data two months ago on the condominium market that showed as much as 2.4% of Toronto highrises were in foreign hands and 2.3% in Vancouver, with some people still disputing those findings. Mr. Scarrow says in terms of Chinese investors they are divided between people still living overseas and people already living in Canada but with money still parked in RMBs. With Chinese New Year over, he expects investment to pick up. Related Foreign buyers taking over — this time it's Canadians in Florida IMF says housing in Canada overvalued by as much as 20% “Decisions have been held off until this week,” he says. “There is a lag for these things in terms of stats and what we see on the ground.” Brian Johnston, chief operating officer of Toronto-based Mattamy Homes, has never been a believer of the idea that foreign investment was a huge factor in Canadian housing, but he says when you get can a 10% to 20% currency swing it has to be positive. “To [foreign investors], the Canadian market has gone on sale,” said Mr. Johnston, noting his company also develops property in the United States it tries to sell to Canadians. “The reverse is true for them. The price of U.S. real estate just went up by 10%.” Lennon Sweeting, a Toront0-based dealer with US Forex which trades in currencies, says the loonie is making housing more attractive to foreign buyers. “The Bank of Canada has tried to offset lower prices with a weaker currency making investing in Canada more attractive,” said Mr. Sweeting, adding most high net worth investors are likely holding U.S. dollars right now. “Absolutely it makes it easier to buy [Canadian real estate]. If you’re holding U.S. dollars you are looking at buying at a discount and there’s plenty of supply.” Low interest rates have also boosted demand, even though foreign investors tend to have to put up larger down payments when borrowing to buy property. Shaun Hildebrand, senior vice-president at condo research firm Urbanation Inc., noted new condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area in 2014 rose over 50% from a year ago but it’s hard to pinpoint how much is attributable to foreign investors. “I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see more foreign investment in 2015,” said Mr. Hildebrand, adding surveys of Urbanation clients peg the foreign component of Toronto’s condo market at just under 5%. sent via Tapatalk
  12. Canadian Commercial Paper Plan Likely to Be Approved By Joe Schneider June 3 (Bloomberg) -- A Canadian judge will probably approve a plan to convert C$32 billion ($31.8 billion) of frozen commercial paper to new notes by the end of the week, though court appeals may keep investors waiting months to get their money back. ``I will have a decision with reasons by Friday,'' Ontario Superior Court Judge Colin Campbell said at the end of a hearing in Toronto today. ``I'll approve,'' unless there's something in his notes that convinces him to change his mind, the judge said. Lawyers representing some of the noteholders have already indicated they plan to appeal Campbell's ruling once it comes out. Some investors object to the plan's limitations on lawsuits targeted at the banks and brokers that sold the paper, which hasn't traded since August. James Woods, who represents 18 companies that want to sue including pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group Inc., said if the judge rules as he indicated, his group will likely file to the Court of Appeal. ``If we find fraud against banks that are not ABCP dealers, there is no recourse,'' Woods said, urging the judge to reject the proposal at today's hearing. ``It's inconceivable.'' New notes may be issued as early as the end of June if there are no appeals, said Purdy Crawford, a lawyer who led a group of foreign and Canadian banks and pension funds that drafted the proposal. All appeals must be exhausted before the notes are issued, he said. Quick Appeal ``We can't close until we get the sanction,'' Crawford told reporters. ``I am assured by our lawyers that the Court of Appeal will agree to an expedited hearing.'' The insolvent asset-backed paper hasn't traded since August, when investors shunned the debt on concerns about links to high-risk mortgage loans in the U.S. A group of foreign banks as well as Canadian lenders and pension funds led by Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec negotiated the so-called Montreal Proposal in August. The plan would convert the insolvent 30- to 90-day debt into new notes maturing within nine years. Banks agreed to provide funding to back the new notes on the condition that they be given immunity from any lawsuits stemming from the sale of the notes. Campbell said in a May 16 ruling he wasn't satisfied protection from lawsuits over potentially criminal conduct such as fraud was fair, and he delayed approval. The banks agreed to change the plan to allow limited suits under certain conditions within nine weeks following the plan's approval. Possible Fraud Campbell criticized the lawyers opposing the plan for failing to provide examples of potential outstanding fraud. ``So we defeat the plan on the off chance that there is something out there?'' Campbell asked. Once the new notes are issued, investors can hold them to maturity or try to trade them in the secondary market. Some clients of Canaccord Capital Inc. will be paid in full for their debt, under an agreement announced by the Vancouver-based brokerage in April. The case is Between the Investors Represented on the Pan- Canadian Investors Committee for Third-Party Structured Asset- Backed Commercial Paper and Metcalfe & Mansfield Alternative Investments II Corp., 08-CL-7740, Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Toronto). To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Schneider in Toronto at [email protected] http://www.bloomberg.com/index.html?Intro=intro3
  13. Première page de Bloomberg ce matin. Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Montreal got the nickname Sin City during Prohibition, when Americans crossed the border into Canada to drink, gamble and buy sex. The epithet is making a comeback this month. Allegations of price fixing, kickbacks and ties to organized crime are marring tomorrow’s election for mayor of Canada’s second-biggest city. Almost two-thirds of respondents in an Angus Reid poll released yesterday said the scandals will influence their vote. “This is Sin City all over again,” said Harold Chorney, a political science professor at Concordia University in Montreal. “Corruption is part of the history here.” Gerald Tremblay, the mayor since 2001, in September canceled a C$356 million ($330 million) pact to install water meters after La Presse newspaper reported that a city councilor vacationed on a yacht owned by the contractor who led the winning bid. Challenger Louise Harel, who leads in the polls, ousted her deputy this month after he admitted that his staff took improper cash donations. The corruption allegations are diverting attention from economic challenges facing the city of about 1.7 million people. The winner of the election faces rising costs for mass transit, policing and water, according to a May 21 Moody’s Investors Service report. Montreal has the highest debt load of any Canadian city, and ran a deficit of about C$330 million in 2008, compared with a surplus the previous year, said Ryan Domsy, senior financial analyst in Toronto at DBRS Ltd., a debt-rating company. Close Race The mayoral race is too close to call, according to an Angus Reid poll published yesterday in La Presse. Tremblay, 67, a Harvard Business School graduate, trails with 30 percent support. Harel, 63, a non-English-speaking lawyer and former minister in the separatist Parti Quebecois provincial government, leads with 34 percent. Richard Bergeron, 54, an architect who says the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out by the U.S. government and wants to ban cars from Rue Saint Catherine, the city’s busiest shopping street, is second at 32 percent. About 25 percent of respondents in the Angus Reid poll singled out transparency and the fight against corruption as the city’s No. 1 priority. Angus Reid polled 804 Montreal residents Oct. 28 and 29, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. “It’s one of the first really open races for years in Montreal,” Julie Belanger, 32, a Montreal office worker, said after an Oct. 27 candidates’ debate. “Usually you can guess who’s going to win, but this time it could be anybody.” Yacht Trips Tremblay canceled the water-meter contract, won by a group of local engineering firms, and fired two top bureaucrats after a report from Montreal’s auditor general found that elected officials lacked the necessary information before approving the project. The probe was sparked this year by a La Presse report that Frank Zampino, formerly head of the city’s executive committee, vacationed in January 2007 and February 2008 on a yacht owned by Tony Accurso, who led the group that won the water-meter order, the city’s biggest contract. Zampino retired from politics last year. Accurso’s lawyer, Louis Demers at De Grandpre Chait, didn’t return a call seeking comment. According to the auditor general’s report, the water-meter project was estimated in 2004 to cost C$36 million, about a 10th of the final contract’s price. “All of these allegations of corruption certainly don’t help Montreal’s reputation,” said David Love, a trader of interest-rate derivatives at Le Group Jitney Inc., a Montreal brokerage. “The city looks bad right now.” Sweeping Clean Harel’s Vision Montreal party based its platform on ridding city hall of its “culture of secrecy and collusion” and restoring trust in the municipal administration. Harel has called for public inquiries into the allegations of corruption at city hall, as has Bergeron’s Project Montreal party. “At first I thought a broom would be useful to clean this mess, but now I think I will need a very large vacuum cleaner,” Harel said in a television interview Oct. 28. Harel’s credibility was undermined after she forced the resignation on Oct. 18 of the head of her executive committee, Benoit Labonte, for ties to Accurso. Three days later, Labonte told Radio-Canada television in an interview that people close to him took money from Accurso, owner of Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc. Labonte said kickbacks and corruption are rampant in city hall. Maclean’s, Canada’s weekly news magazine, ran this headline on its cover this week: “Montreal is a corrupt, crumbling, mob-ridden disgrace.” “There’s an underground system,” Alex Dion, economic development officer for the borough of Montreal, said after a candidates’ debate. He said the allegations hurt Montreal’s reputation in the rest of Canada. Home of Ponzi Still, Howard Silverman, chief executive officer of CAI Global Inc., a consulting firm that helps foreign companies invest in Quebec, doesn’t think the allegations will deter investors from Montreal, the city that Charles Ponzi called home for almost a decade a century ago. Ponzi was charged in 1920 for using new funds from investors to pay redemptions by other investors, a type of fraud that now bears his name. “It’s not good for the city, it looks bad, but it won’t have much of an impact,” said Silverman, who counts investors such as London-based miner Rio Tinto Group among his clients. “Every North American or global city has its scandals or its problems.”
  14. New York Times, October 1, 2008 Failed Deals Replace Boom in New York Real Estate By CHARLES V. BAGLI After seven years of nonstop construction, skyrocketing rents and sales prices, and a seemingly endless appetite for luxury housing that transformed gritty and glamorous neighborhoods alike, the credit crisis and the turmoil on Wall Street are bringing New York’s real estate boom to an end. Developers are complaining that lenders are now refusing to finance projects that were all but certain months or even weeks ago. Landlords bewail their inability to refinance skyscrapers with blue-chip tenants. And corporations are afraid to relocate within Manhattan for fear of making the wrong move if rents fall or a flagging economy forces layoffs. “Lenders are now taking a very hard look at each particular project to assess its viability in the context of a softening of demand,” said Scott A. Singer, executive vice president of Singer & Bassuk, a real estate finance and brokerage firm. “There’s no question that there’ll be a significant slowdown in new construction starts, immediately.” Examples of aborted deals and troubled developments abound. Last Friday, HSBC, the big Hong Kong-based bank, quietly tore up an agreement to move its American headquarters to 7 World Trade Center after bids for its existing home at 452 Fifth Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets, came in 30 percent lower than the $600 million it wanted for the property. A 40-story office tower under construction by SJP Properties at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue for the past 18 months still does not have a tenant. And the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe last week suddenly pulled out of what had been an all-but-certain lease of 300,000 square feet of space at Citigroup Center, deciding instead to extend its lease at 666 Fifth Avenue for five years, in part because they hope rents will fall. “Everything’s frozen in place,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s lobbying association, shortly after the stock market closed on Monday. Barry M. Gosin, chief executive of Newmark Knight Frank, a national real estate firm based in New York, said: “Today, the entire financial system needs a lubricant. It’s kind of like driving your car after running out of oil and the engine seizes up. If there’s no liquidity and no financing, everything seizes up.” It is hard to say exactly what the long-term impact will be, but real estate experts, economists and city and state officials say it is likely there will be far fewer new construction projects in the future, as well as tens of thousands of layoffs on Wall Street, fewer construction jobs and a huge loss of tax revenue for both the state and the city. Few trends have defined the city more than the development boom, from the omnipresent tower cranes to the explosion of high-priced condominiums in neighborhoods outside Manhattan, from Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene to Williamsburg and Long Island City. Some developers who are currently erecting condominiums are trying to convert to rentals, while others are looking to sell the projects. After imposing double-digit rent increases in recent years, landlords say rents are falling somewhat, which could hurt highly leveraged projects, but also slow gentrification in what real estate brokers like to call “emerging neighborhoods” like Harlem, the Lower East Side and Fort Greene. At the same time, some of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s most ambitious large-scale projects — the West Side railyards, Pennsylvania Station, ground zero, Coney Island and Willets Point — are going to take longer than expected to start and to complete, real estate experts say. “Most transactions in commercial real estate are on hold,” said Mary Ann Tighe, regional chief executive for CB Richard Ellis, the real estate brokerage firm, “because nobody can be sure what the economy will look like, not only in the near term, but in the long term.” Although the real estate market in New York is in better shape than in most other major cities, a recent report by Newmark Knight Frank shows that there are “clear signs of weakness,” with the overall vacancy rate at 9 percent, up from 8.2 percent a year ago. Rents are also falling when landlord concessions are taken into account. The real estate boom has been fueled by a robust economy, a steady demand for housing and an abundance of foreign and domestic investors willing to spend tens of billions of dollars on New York real estate. It helped that lenders were only too happy to finance as much as 90 percent of the cost on the assumption that the mortgages could be resold to investors as securities. But that ended with the subprime mortgage crisis, which has since spilled over to all the credit markets, which have come to a standstill. As a result, real estate executives estimate that the value of commercial buildings has fallen by at least 20 percent, though the decline is hard to gauge when there is little mortgage money available to buy the buildings and therefore few sales. Long after the crisis began in 2007, many investors and real estate executives expected a “correction” to the rapid escalation in property values. But after Lehman Brothers, the venerable firm that had provided billions of dollars of loans for New York real estate deals, collapsed two weeks ago, it was clear that something more profound was afoot. And there was an immediate reaction in the real estate world: Tishman Speyer Properties, which controls Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and scores of other properties, abruptly pulled out of a deal to buy the former Mobil Building, a 1.6 million-square-foot tower on 42nd Street, near Grand Central Terminal, for $400 million, two executives involved in the transaction said. Commercial properties are not the only ones facing problems. On Friday, Standard & Poor’s dropped its rating on the bonds used in Tishman’s $5.4 billion purchase of the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complexes in 2006, the biggest real estate deal in modern history. Standard & Poor’s said it cut the rating, in part, because of an estimated 10 percent decline in the properties’ value and the rapid depletion of reserve funds. The rating reduction shows the growing nervousness of lenders and investors about such deals, which have often involved aggressive — critics say unrealistic — projections of future income. “Any continued impediment to the credit markets is awful for the national economy, but it’s more awful for New York,” said Richard Lefrak, patriarch of a fourth-generation real estate family that owns office buildings and apartment houses in New York and New Jersey. “This is the company town for money,” he said. “If there’s no liquidity in the system, it exacerbates the problems. It’s going to have a serious effect on the local economy and real estate values.”
  15. MONTREAL - Corruption and politics are shaking investor confidence in Montreal, says a 2014 outlook which ranks Quebec’s key metropolis dead last among nine Canadian cities for commercial real estate growth potential. “Whether it is related to construction, corruption, or politics, interviewees (surveyed) expressed uncertainty about investment in Montreal,” said the outlook compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a professional services giant. The annual survey — which forecasts market trends and outlooks for different property types — also ranks commercial real estate markets in nine Canadian cities based on investment, rental and commercial property development and residential homebuilding potential.. The outlook is based on the views of 1,000 North American real estate industry experts surveyed or interviewed by PWC and survey partner, Urban Land Institute. While the outlook does not refer specifically to the Parti Québécois, elected with a minority government in 2012, one interviewee referred to an anticipated spring 2014 election when saying: “Montreal faces major risks because of uncertainty relating to politics.” In 2013, Montreal was ranked seventh out of nine markets in the survey and there were no remarks over politics or corruption. In the 2014 ranking, Montreal came in ninth, behind Halifax. PWC executives said they couldn’t elaborate on the political, or corruption fears raised by investors. “Sitting in Ontario, this (corruption) is getting a lot of (airtime),” said Frank Magliocco, a partner in the PWC’s audit and assurance group. “That may have had some impact on individuals who were ranking Montreal.” Deborah Dumoulin, a PWC partner, said she did not hear those same concerns voiced in Quebec: “This is not what would be coming from the Montreal market.” While economic growth is expected to rebound in Montreal to 2.1 per cent next year, a saturated office and condo market — combined with a forecast of weak employment growth — mean the city’s development prospects are limited compared to Canada’s booming west. The outlook on investment, a driver of tax revenues, comes at a time when Quebec Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau has already warned he might not be able to balance next year’s budget. Mélanie Malenfant, a spokesperson for Marceau, said she could not comment on the outlook since she was just made aware of it by a reporter. She pointed to PQ efforts to combat collusion, such as Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault’s recent unveiling of a 16-point strategy to lower the cost of public contracts. Bernie Marcotte, senior managing director of Cushman & Wakefield in Montreal, said there has been a slowdown in commercial real estate investments, but that’s mostly due to a weaker economy. “We see deals taking longer to complete. We have seen investment by private individuals slow down,” Marcotte said. “But the institutional investor, who’s there for the long haul, is still there.” Two real estate veterans, however, told The Gazette that they are seeing large investors reducing their exposure to Quebec, while Montreal-based developers expand into other provinces. One said investors have been shaken by the Parti Québécois’s focus on reasonable accommodation, including its so-called Charter of Quebec Values: “The government is distracted by social issues, they’re not focusing on the economy.
  16. Surtout des investisseurs chinois, comme on l'a vu pour le projet Séville.. via The Gazette A foreign attraction to Montreal’s real estate market BY ALLISON LAMPERT, GAZETTE REAL ESTATE REPORTER NOVEMBER 23, 2013 4:55 PM People are seen waiting outside the offices for the Seville condos on St-Catherine St. W. in 2010. Photograph by: Dario Ayala, The Gazette The Seville Condo project has a sign, in English, French and Mandarin, that says “Do you know the person you let in without any fob? Please swipe your fob to show you live here” in the front entrance of the condo building on Ste-Catherine St. W. because of the large number of owners who are recent immigrants from China, or who have bought to rent out as an investment. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, The Gazette MONTREAL — Down the street from Montreal’s old Forum, in a bustling neighbourhood now dotted with Chinese noodle shops, ethnic grocers and new construction, the sign on the door of the Le Seville condo building asks residents in French, English and Chinese: “Do you know the person you let in?” Since last year’s annual meeting — when some condo owners from China had difficulty following the discussion — the board of directors has been translating important material — such as the sign on the door and the building’s annual budget — into Chinese. “It was clear that the Chinese buyers needed to have access to a language they’d understand, like everyone else in the building,” said condo board president Colin Danby, who learned Mandarin during seven years spent in Taiwan. “Not everything is translated. But as a board, we take that step when it is something important like building security.” Residents estimate that between 20 to 40 per cent of the Seville’s co-owners are either Chinese Canadian, recent immigrants who own neighbouring shops in the area known as Shaughnessy Village, or are foreign investors from China. They bought into the sold-out first phase of the 477-unit Seville in 2010 — when low interest rates and an economy that had emerged relatively well from the 2008 financial crisis drove demand for Montreal condos to near-record highs. While the vast majority of foreign real estate buyers in Canada have focused on Toronto and Vancouver, investors from China, Middle East and Europe also helped fuel Montreal’s condo boom, which peaked in 2012. In 2011, Montreal had the second highest number of permits and starts for new condos of any city in North America. Toronto was in first place. “More inventory, more investors,” said Alexandre Sieber, senior managing director of Quebec operations for real-estate services firm CBRE Ltd. “As you build inventory, you are diversifying the investor base.” Some firms estimate that up to 20 per cent of Montreal condos bought as rental properties — or to be flipped for a profit — were purchased by foreign buyers searching for inexpensive prices in a comparatively stable market. Foreign investors have also bought small multi-unit buildings for use as student rentals and are showing interest in large properties, including vast tracts of land in the Laurentians, brokers say. Just like Vancouver, or Toronto, there is no hard data for the number of foreign real-estate investors in Montreal. But two foreign buyers, along with half-a-dozen commercial and residential real estate brokers, told The Gazette that sales to foreigners and landed-immigrants in areas like Westmount and LaSalle are on the upswing. And Asian and Middle Eastern money is behind at least two new large sites downtown that are being promoted for residential development. “We’re certainly seeing an increase in foreign buyers, especially from China,” said Robert MacDougall, senior vice-president for investment sales and special projects at the commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. MacDougall said about 10 to 20 per cent of his offers on properties now come from foreign investors, mostly Asians. In addition to the foreigners who’ve long been purchasing condos for their adult children attending McGill and Concordia universities, people who have recently arrived from Asia are also buying homes in Westmount to be close to their kids’ private schools, brokers say. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada estimated recently that half of the luxury properties sold in Montreal this year were purchased by foreigners. “Two or three years ago, I had the odd buyer show up from China. That was kind of a novelty,” recalled Brian Dutch, a broker with Re/Max DuCartier, who specializes in the Westmount market. “Then all of a sudden, there was another Chinese broker calling for an appointment. And then there’s another. “From it being the odd one, there are now at least two inquiries on a weekly basis.” While foreign buyers are appreciated by the real estate industry because they purchase properties in a relatively soft housing market, investors from Asia and the Middle East have been blamed for driving up home prices in Vancouver. Economists have warned that foreign buyers also create a more volatile market driven by yields, rather than by fundamentals like having a place to live. In Montreal, there have been a few instances of buyers from other countries failing to show up at the notary’s office, after signing contracts — and leaving hefty deposits — to purchase homes. But Montreal brokers have yet to see widespread bidding wars with Asian or Middle Eastern buyers willing to pay above-market prices. “I have seen those kinds of news stories from Toronto and Vancouver (about inflated prices), but my clients are more cautious,” said Jason Yu, a broker with the Brossard-based agency Esta Agence, whose commercial and residential buyers are mostly recent immigrants from China. Yu, who’s worked with Dutch on multiple sales to Chinese buyers in Westmount, said several of his clients are wealthy Asian families moving to Montreal as part of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program. A decade ago, Yu and his family came to Canada from China as immigrant investors under a program that requires applicants with a net worth of at least $1.6 million to make an $800,000 interest-free loan to the government for five years. The Quebec program — which mirrors a federal one that’s now frozen and does not accept new applicants — remains hotly debated, amid criticism that 90 per cent of the mostly Asian arrivals promptly move elsewhere in Canada, while their $800,000 stays in la Belle Province. Quebec’s quota for 2013-2014 is 1,750 immigrant investors. Despite the large number who leave, Yu says that he also sees immigrants who choose to stay in Montreal. In the last few months, three of his Chinese clients purchased homes in Westmount, while a fourth is looking to buy downtown condos as an investment. She said the family moved to Montreal largely for her daughter’s education. One immigrant from Shanghai described how her family moved to Westmount a few years ago through the Quebec investor program. Her husband is working in China right now while she raises their daughter and takes French classes in Quebec. “We made the decision very quickly, based largely on what a friend from China who lived in Montreal told us,” said the woman, who spoke to The Gazette on condition that her name wouldn’t be published. “We didn’t even know about Bill 101.” The language law hasn’t affected the family, since her daughter is enrolled at a non-subsidized English girls’ school, where she is learning both official languages. She said she’s constantly meeting new recent immigrants from China. Last week, the woman received a call from Dutch, who had been her real estate broker when she bought her home. Dutch invited her to meet a newcomer from Shanghai who had an accepted offer on a house in the area. Dutch also invited the newcomer’s neighbour, a recent arrival from Beijing. “I called my client to come over because I wanted as much for her and for them to get to know each other,” Dutch said. “Everyone was busy on their iPhones, sharing contact information and yacking away in Mandarin. It was fun. “It’s something we haven’t seen before.” Also new is the tendency of immigrant investors — even ones who leave Quebec — to purchase properties in Montreal. “Will they stay? History says they won’t, but they are making investments here,” said Eric Goodman, owner of Century 21 Vision in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He described one new condo project in LaSalle, where 80 per cent of the units were sold to Chinese buyers, including recent immigrants, or investors who are still in China. “They are buying them as investments and they are buying them for family members who may come in the future,” said Goodman. “They are always looking for places to put their money. They feel it is safe to build here, even if they’re not going to make as much of a return as in Toronto.” Goodman’s agency also sold the land to the developers behind the YUL mixed condo and townhouse project on René Lévesque Blvd. near Lucien L’Allier Rd. The YUL project, backed by Chinese investors, is being marketed to foreign as well as local buyers. Adjacent to YUL, land on René Lévesque Blvd. next to Guy St. has been purchased by investors from Qatar who intend to launch their Babylon residential development this spring. The downtown area has proven attractive to investors because of the large pool of student tenants, and the limited construction of new rental buildings to replace the city’s aging stock. Indeed, investors — who make up an estimated 40 per cent of owners at Seville — generated such demand for the project that people were lining up at 10 a.m., a day before the sales office opened in 2010. Colin Danby, now condo board president for the Seville’s phase 1, arrived at 3 p.m. He was No. 58 in line, he recalled. The crowd was so large that by 8 p.m., developer Groupe Prével decided to give out tickets to buyers. And just like the hockey scalpers outside the old Forum in the 1970s, “authorized” Seville buyers were said to be hawking condo tickets on the street for $5,000 each. [email protected] Twitter: RealDealMtl © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  17. http://blog.buzzbuzzhome.com/2013/02/montreal-condo-market-optimism.html While the age-old rivalry between Toronto and Montreal has pitted the cities’ hockey teams and arts scenes against each other, there’s another set of bragging rights up for grabs. Which metropolis has the better condo market? Toronto may have mind-boggling number of new units coming on the market, but Montreal is no slouch when it comes to construction crane sightings. We previously reported on the flurry on new builds in Quebec’s largest city and now there are new numbers to make the case for the Montreal boom. Despite concerns about the market overheating, Property Biz Canada pinpointed some optimistic stats coming out of the Quebec Apartment Investment Conference: About 7,726 condo units will be delivered by 2016 in the downtown area, which includes Old Montreal, Griffintown and the Lachine Canal. Of those units, 64 per cent (or 4,658 suites) have already been sold or reserved, leaving 2,568 units left to be sold in the next four years (or 642 a year). According to Debbie Lafave, senior vice president of Baker Real Estate, investors make up 50 per cent of buyers of downtown Montreal condos, compared to the higher percentages suggested for Toronto. Some developers suggested that rental apartment buildings likely aren’t being built since rents in Montreal are too low and construction and land costs are too high to justify their construction. And condos are the most affordable means of entry-point into the Montreal market for first-time buyers. With a condo boom in Canada’s two largest cities, we can’t help but wonder: which city will see the steadiest gains and sales in the future?
  18. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/05/schwartzs-sold-rene-angelil_n_1255654.html?ref=canada Not sure what to make of this. :biting:
  19. Quebec vows to fight national securities plan RHEAL SEGUIN Globe and Mail Update September 18, 2008 at 4:11 PM EDT For the second consecutive day, the Quebec government waded into the federal election campaign against Conservative policies, lashing-out today at the Harper government's proposal to create a national securities commission. Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jérôme-Forget warned that in the event of a majority Conservative government in Ottawa bent on creating a national securities commission, all provinces and territories except Ontario will fight the decision right-up to the Supreme Court of Canada. The confrontation, she predicted, would disrupt markets and create havoc for investors. “The protection of investors is a provincial jurisdiction,” she said. “I suspect they (a Harper government) are going to come-up with legislation. They are going to implement such a securities commission. We are going to appeal. We're going to go as high as the Supreme Court. There's going to be disruption in the market.” The Minister added that Canada's financial leaders underestimate the impact if Ottawa moves to unilaterally impose changes without provincial consent. Ontario remained the only province to support the federal initiative. All the others propose to harmonize regulations through what they call a “passport” system, where companies can file a prospectus for approval in one province or territory and have it automatically accepted by all the others. There are currently 13 provincial and territorial securities commission. She predicts that a national securities commission will only create another layer of bureaucracy by adding a 14th commission, creating confusion for investors. “People won't know where to go. The market will want to know who's in charge. There will be a court challenge right up to the Supreme Court because the provinces argue is their jurisdiction,” Ms. Jérôme-Forget said. “Quebec isn't alone. You have British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, the Atlantic provinces. They are all on side.” Improvements to the current system are needed, she added, such as finding ways to accommodate restrictions imposed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the past, that has created obstacles for prosecutors who want to use confidential information held by regulator bodies in pursuing criminal cases such as fraud. “We don't want to change the Charter but we have to find ways to share the information,” she said. Backed by two international studies, the Minister argued that Canada's current securities regulations are among the best in the world and that there was no need to change the system. The comments came at the conclusion of a federal-provincial meeting of ministers responsible for their respective securities commissions. Her charge against the Harper government's intrusion in a provincial jurisdiction comes on the heels of severe criticism by Quebec this week against other Conservative policies. On Wednesday, Cultural and Communications Minister Christine St-Pierre scoffed at federal Heritage Minister Josée Verner's suggestion that if Quebec wanted more funding for culture it should use its own money. “We've increased budgets (for culture) by 25 per cent. We're already doing our share,” Ms. St-Pierre said in referring to the $45-million in federal cutback in programs including those aimed at promoting Canadian and Quebec culture abroad. The cutbacks sparked widespread criticism from Quebec's cultural community including world renowned theatre artist Robert Lepage, who said the Harper government was discouraging home grown artists from seeking prominence abroad by locking them into a “cultural prison.” Ms. Jérôme-Forget also challenged the Conservative party's claim that it has fixed the fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and the provinces, especially after signing a multi-billion agreement for infrastructure projects. “Obviously for me it's not enough. Post-education (money) for all provinces has not been settled. ” Ms Jérôme-Forget said. “There was a great move done by Mr. Harper….but for post secondary education there is still room to manoeuvre.” Despite mounting tensions over a growing number of issues, the Quebec government stopped short of calling Mr. Harper's vision of open federalism a failure. “The objective of federalism isn't to say: ‘If I don't get everything, I'll slam the door.' You have to build alliances and on occasion force your position and try to influence others. It's normal to have differences,” she said.
  20. Le fonds Capital Research Global Investors met en doute la réélection à une très large majorité, vendredi dernier, du PDG Jerry Yang. Pour en lire plus...