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  1. I compiled the list down to a few names... All Canadian companies that excel in each category over other Canadian companies. - Aerospace & Defense: Bombardier - 8th (in that sector) [416th overall] - Banking: RBC - 17th (in that sector) [53rd overall] - Capital Goods: none - Chemicals: Potash of Saskatchewan - 16th (in that sector) [622nd overall] - Conglomerates: none - Construction: SNC-Lavalin - 34th (in that sector) [1063rd overall] - Consumer Durables: Magna International - 30th (in that sector) [922nd overall] - Diversified Financials: Power Corp of Canada - 9th (in that sector) [247th overall] - Food Markets: George Weston - 7th (in that sector) [412th overall] - Food, Drink & Tobacco: Saputo - 54th (in that sector) [1236th overall] - Health Care Equipment & Services: none - Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure: Tim Hortons - 18th (in that sector) [1714th overall] - Household & Personal Products: none - Insurance: Manulife Financial - 8th (in that sector) [112th overall] - Materials: Teck Resources - 17th (in that sector) [364th overall] - Media: Thomson Reuters - 7th (in that sector) [295th overall] - Oil & Gas Operations: Suncor Energy - 21st (in that sector) [159th overall] - Retailing: Shoppers Drug Mart - 30th (in that sector) [810th overall] - Semiconductors: none - Software & Services: CGI Group - 26th (in that sector) [1661st oveall] - Technology Hardware & Equipment: Research In Motion - 11th (in that sector) [384th overall] - Telecommuncations: BCE - 16th (in that sector) [239th overall] - Trading Companies: none - Transportation: Canadian National - 8th (in that sector) [377th overall] - Utilities: TransCanada - 21st (in that sector) [312th overall] All are publicly traded companies All the bold above. Their headquarters are here in Montreal
  2. CAE wins military training contracts The Gazette Published: 32 minutes ago Montreal flight simulator builder CAE Inc. said today it has won a series of military training contracts worth up to $106 million and including $71 million in firm orders. The contracts are with Canada's Department of National Defence, L-3 Communications of the U.S., the U.S. Navy, Eurofighter Simulation Systems and contractor C2 Technologies. CAE said it sees strong opportunities ahead in the global military market- normally more stable than the civil aviation sector. CAE also said earnings for the first quarter ended June 30 rose 19 per cent to $46.1 million or 18 cents a share from $38.7 million or 15 cents a share a year earlier, because of strong Asian and European civil aircraft training business and rising military orders. Revenue climbed 9.4 per cent to $392 million.
  3. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/healthy-economic-outlook-for-montreal-and-quebec-city-in-2016-570899271.html OTTAWA, March 3, 2016 /CNW/ - Quebec's two largest cities are forecast to enjoy healthy economic growth in 2016. Montréal and Québec City can expect growth of 2.3 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook: Winter 2016. "The depreciation of the Canadian dollar and a healthy U.S. economy is bringing good news to Québec City and Montréal and their export-oriented industries. Economic growth in both cities has been on the upswing. In fact, we expect real GDP growth in both Montréal and Québec City to outpace the national average for the second consecutive year in 2016, after trailing it for five straight years" said Alan Arcand, Associate Director, Centre for Municipal Studies, The Conference Board of Canada. Highlights Montréal is expected to see real GDP growth of 2.3 per cent in 2016, up from 1.7 per cent last year. Québec City's real GDP growth is expected to reach 2 per cent in 2016. Vancouver's real GDP is forecast to grow 3.3 per cent, making it the fastest growing economy among the 28 census metropolitan areas covered in this edition of the Metropolitan Outlook. Montréal Montréal's economic improvement will be driven by a strengthening manufacturing sector, a rebound in construction, and steady services sector gains. Manufacturing output is forecast to expand by 3 per cent in 2016, bolstered by the combination of a weaker Canadian dollar and healthy U.S. demand. Two massive infrastructure projects—the $4.2-billion Champlain Bridge and the $3.7-billion Turcot Interchange—will help the local construction industry shake off three straight years of declines. However, a decline in housing starts will limit overall construction output growth to 2 per cent in 2016. Growth among the services-producing industries is projected to be 2.2 per cent in 2016, the same rate as in 2015. All eight industry sectors will advance this year, with the biggest gains coming from the business services sector and the personal services sector. In all, Montréal is expected to post real GDP growth of 2.3 per cent this year, up from 1.7 per cent in 2015. About 26,000 jobs are expected to be created in 2016. A similar rise in the labour force will keep the unemployment rate at 8.2 per cent, well above the national average of 7 per cent.
  4. Growth in mining sector reshaping Quebec economy BARRIE MCKENNA OTTAWA— Globe and Mail Blog Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:48PM EDT http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/daily-mix/growth-in-mining-sector-reshaping-quebec-economy/article2370299/ Think of the Quebec economy, and the traditional drivers are energy, forestry and manufacturing. But there’s a new engine in Quebec – mining – and it’s reshaping the economy of both the province, and the country. Investment in the province’s mining industry is expected to reach $4.4-billion this year, up 62 per cent from 2011. That’s nearly equal to the capital that will be poured into manufacturing ($5-billion), a remarkable 27 per cent of all business investment in the province and represents half of all mining investment in the country, according to a National Bank of Canada analysis of recent Statistics Canada figures. “That’s never happened before,” National Bank of Canada chief economist Stéfane Marion said in an interview. “It’s a huge growth driver for the province this year, and in the future.” It’s not the only first. Quebec will lead the country in mining investment this year, outpacing Ontario, Mr. Marion said. Mining investment is expected to hit $3.7-billion in Ontario, $2.8-billion in B.C. and $500-million in Alberta. For Quebec, the money pouring into dozens of iron ore, gold, copper and other mining projects could add a full percentage to GDP this year and cause an unexpected boost in royalty revenue for the cash-strapped government. It will also have spinoff benefits for Montreal-area manufacturers, who will help supply mining-related equipment. But Mr. Marion said there are broader implications. The Quebec economy is starting to look a lot more like the booming resource-rich provinces of the West. “This is a material change in the industrial structure of Quebec,” Ms. Marion said. “It brings the interests of Western Canada and Quebec into line. It’s not just a pure Western Canada story now. It’s spreading to Eastern Canada.” Quebec is also positioning itself to capitalize on the growing resource appetite in China and other fast-growing emerging economies, he said. And the good news: The mining boom is just getting started as Quebec plots its 25-year “Plan Nord” strategy.
  5. Construction slowdown looms VIRGINIA GALT Globe and Mail Update August 7, 2008 at 6:22 PM EDT The head of construction powerhouse EllisDon said Thursday he is “very wary and very concerned” about where the Canadian economy is going. “I am worried right across the country that things are tightening up and that a year from now we are going to see a drop-off,” Geoff Smith, the company's president and chief executive officer said in an interview after Statistics Canada reported that the total value of building permits fell 5.3 per cent in June to $6.3-billion. Economists had projected a decline in the value of building permits issued in June, but not of the magnitude that Statistics Canada reported. The consensus had been for a 1 per cent drop Mr. Smith expressed concern for the construction industry as a whole Thursday, although EllisDon has not yet experienced a drop in demand for the heavy construction in which it specializes. “Over the short term, we [at EllisDon] are still seeing a reasonably healthy market. A lot of that is in public sector work and infrastructure rebuilding work,” he said. “But I certainly understand that once you get outside of that space, the big hospital and infrastructure spending, that things are quite tight in the industry,” Mr. Smith said. Statscan reported Thursday that the slowdown in the residential sector resulted in a month-to-month decline of 4.4 per cent to $3.6-billion in June. And in the non-residential sector, the value of permits decreased by 6.6 per cent to $2.8-billion, due to declines in industrial and commercial building intentions, Statscan reported. Mr. Smith said major commercial and industrial customers are being “more careful” about committing to new projects. However, the outlook is not nearly as bleak as in the 1990s, “where things just dried up very dramatically,” he said. The market is cooling, but new projects are still being planned, added Sandy McNair, president of Toronto-based Altus InSite, which conducts market research for governments, lenders, building managers and the heavy construction industry. “No-one's gone crazy and thinking they are going to start 30 new buildings tomorrow. But on the other hand, there is no sense that the sky is falling and our world is about to end either,” Mr. McNair said. Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Millan Mulraine said in a research note that the decline in the value of building permits was broad-based – and “on a city-by-city comparison, the report was fairly ugly.” The value of permits issued in Montreal was down 12.1 per cent, in Calgary down 15.2 per cent, in Vancouver down 13.4 per cent and in Saskatoon down 16.7 per cent, Mr. Mulraine wrote, adding that the overall value of building permits is now 9.1 per cent lower than in the corresponding period last year. Merrill Lynch economist David Wolf said in an economic report Thursday that Canada's housing market is entering a “sustained downturn” and he expects Canadian home builders to pull back “substantially” in response. Bank of Montreal economists had expected June building permits to decline 3.1 per cent, “as the housing market continues to cool and non-residential intentions retrace part of the prior month's massive gain,” the bank said in a research note. The steepest decline occurred in Ontario, where the value of building permits was down 7.9 per cent to $2.3-billion, due mainly to a 15.8 per cent decline in plans for non-residential buildings, Statscan said. The decline in Ontario's residential sector was 1.7 per cent. Alberta posted a 7.5 per cent decline, due to a 19.6 per cent drop in the residential sector. British Columbia and New Brunswick also experienced declines in both the residential and non-residential sectors, Statscan said. “In contrast, intentions rose 3.5 per cent in Quebec, with gains in both the residential and non-residential sectors.” Overall, there was a slight increase in the value of permits issued for single-family residences – up 1.8 per cent to $2.3-billion. But there was a sharp drop in the value of permits issued for multiple-family dwellings. “Municipalities issued $1.3-billion worth of permits for multi-family housing in June, down 13.8 per cent, a second consecutive monthly decrease. Most of these declines occurred in Ontario and Alberta,” Statscan said. “It is now becoming clear that the Canadian housing market is continuing to cool, as the level of activity moderates to more sustainable levels,” the TD Bank said in its research note. “And we expected this correction to continue at a measured and orderly pace.” Mr. McNair said the month-to-month data on non-residential building activity tends to be “lumpy” because these tend to be larger projects “and the decisions don't get made evenly spread out across the 12 months of the year.” There is “a reasonable level of activity going on across the country” right now, he said. “Edmonton has never had more construction activity in 20 years in terms of office building activity. Calgary is extremely active as well. Toronto has a healthy level of construction activity going on right now. Ottawa, even Montreal, have a healthy level of activity under way,” Mr. McNair said. “They have got their permits and they are building them out.” Mr. McNair said the residential sector appears to be stable as well, although construction activity is moderating from the rapid pace of the past few years. “It [residential] is moderating, but it's not going over a cliff the way it has in the United States,” he said. Comme si c`était surprenant que Montreal aille bien..... Globe and mail cr**
  6. Building booms across country HEATHER SCOFFIELD Globe and Mail Update June 5, 2008 at 9:10 AM EDT OTTAWA — Building permits in Canada soared in April, rising 14.5 per cent from March because of widespread residential and non-residential activity in all provinces, Statistics Canada said Thursday. The jump means contractors took out $6.4-billion worth of permits, the highest level since last October. “Canadian builder permits were on a tear in April,” Stewart Hall, market strategist for HSBC Canada, said in a note to clients. The gain surpassed economists' expectations by a long shot. They had been expecting a 0.5 per cent increase, after a drop of 4.5 per cent March. House under construction The Globe and Mail Building permits are a notoriously volatile economic indicator, and economists warned not to get too excited about the big monthly leap. The general trend for building permits in both the residential and non-residential sectors has been down since last summer, Statscan noted. Residential permits rose 13.4 per cent from a month earlier, mainly because of growth in multi-family units such as condominiums. Over the past five years, demand has gradually shifted away from more expensive single-family homes to more affordable multi-family buildings, Statscan said. In April, permits for multi-family units rose 19.1 per cent, while single family homes declined 0.6 per cent. “This report does suggest that some improvement in building activity may lie ahead for the Canadian housing sector,” said Millan Mulraine, economics strategist with TD Securities. “However, the fact that all of this increase came from the volatile multi-units component does suggest ... some give-back in the coming month.” In the non-residential sector, the value of permits rose 16.5 per cent from a month earlier, because of strong commercial intentions. Indeed, commercial permits rose 20.2 per cent, as interest in building hotels and retail outlets surged. Industrial permits rose 6.7 per cent, after a large drop in March, as Alberta manufacturing and primary industries regained some interest. Institutional building permits rose 13 per cent in the month, driven by projects for new medical buildings. “The non-residential sector continued to be positively affected by low office vacancy rates and a vigorous retail sector, despite a drop in corporate profits,” Statscan said. Regionally, all provinces saw gains in April, especially in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, which all posted double-digit increases. Ontario saw the largest increase in dollar terms, with a $2.4-billion leap in the value of permits issued, or a jump of 12.5 per cent. Multi-family homes were the driving force. By city, the largest increase in dollars was in Toronto, again because of multi-family units. “While these gains suggest we will some new housing activity going forward, some of this growth is on the back of declines experienced at the beginning of the year,” said economists at Bank of Nova Scotia. “Thus, despite the fact that permits surged in April, the overall trend remains to the downside.” http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080605.wbuildingpermits0506/BNStory/Business/home
  7. Architect Koolhaas sees economic woes blunting excess SEOUL (Reuters Life!) – Architect Rem Koolhaas, renowned for his striking designs and musings on cities, believes the global economic downturn will lead to less ostentatious, more "socially responsible" buildings that better serve the public. The Dutch architect, whose firm designed the gravity-defying CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, Casa de Musica in Portugal and the Seattle Central Library, said more emphasis will now be placed on the efficient use of space during these lean times. "The last 10 years have been noteworthy for the excess in the private sector," Koolhaas told Reuters at the opening of a sleek temporary exhibit hall he and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture designed for fashion house Prada in Seoul. "What we are going to see is a return to the public sector. This is a healthy thing," he said on Wednesday. The Prada Transformer structure, located next to an ancient palace in central Seoul, will open on Saturday with a fashion display. The tetrahedron-shaped steel building, covered in a translucent white skin, is designed to be lifted by cranes and rotated so that it can best use each of its differently designed sides to show movies, host fashion shows or hold art exhibits. Koolhaas said the building provides a bit of lightness -- constructed at a reasonable costs -- that is needed during an economic downturn. Prada would not provide the amount it paid to construct the building. (Editing by Miral Fahmy)
  8. The truth will set you free... !!! It’s been a little more than a month since the Liberal government of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard released its belt-tightening budget, and since then everyone from movie producers and doctors to teachers and mayors has griped about the cuts it promises. They shouldn’t be surprised. Couillard campaigned on a pledge to fix Quebec’s “economic fiasco.” But a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute offers a stark reminder of how difficult that task will be. The report, authored by Philip Cross, the former chief economist at Statistics Canada, shows the extent to which the economies of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes now rely on public sector versus private sector investment for growth. Condensed version: a whole honking lot. Investment spending refers to money spent on structures, machinery and equipment, and since 2000, the report notes, public sector investment as a share of GDP has nearly doubled in Quebec to almost six per cent. At the same time, business investment—you know, by actual companies—has stagnated at seven per cent. That’s put Quebec near the bottom of the pack, alongside Ontario, and a notch above New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. “Business investment is the lifeblood of economic growth,” Cross wrote in an opinion piece. “It determines what the economy will look like years from now, and how competitive its workers will be.” Of course, to have business investment, you’ve got to have businesses. And that’s where Quebec faces serious problems that run far deeper than any single austerity budget can hope to tackle. In December, Statistics Canada released a largely overlooked research paper that examined the rates at which new businesses have been joining and leaving the marketplace in each province. The creation of new firms and the destruction of old ones, through consolidation or closure, is key to a vibrant economy, bringing in new ideas and innovations and forcing existing businesses to pick up their game. You can probably guess where Quebec ranked, but I’ll tell you anyway. From 2000 to 2009, no province had lower so-called “firm entry” than Quebec. In fact, in the manufacturing, retail, transportation and finance sectors, more companies went away than were created. No other province had that level of “destruction” without the customarily accompanying “creative.” Related: Maybe Harper has slain the separatists The charter may be gone, but Quebec’s identity crisis remains Why Justin Trudeau risks alienating Quebec It gets worse. Another report from a few months ago, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, measured the levels of entrepreneurialism across Canada. It did so by looking at the percentage of working-age adults who are either engaged in setting up a business or who own a wage-paying business that’s existed for less than 42 months. On that front, too, Quebec came dead last, with an entrepreneurship rate of 9.6 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent in Ontario and close to 19 per cent in Alberta. Quebec Source: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Sylvain Carle, an entrepreneur in Montreal who’s started several companies, recently shared an anecdote with the Montreal Gazette that sums up Quebec’s sluggish start-up culture. While attending a conference at Stanford University, a speaker had asked how many people in the audience of 100 were starting their own companies, and 105 hands went up, since some were multi-preneurs. When Carle asked the same question to a similar-sized audience in Montreal a few weeks later, five hands went up. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in rocketry to know why all this is the case. For decades Quebec businesses have been plagued with repeated bouts of separation anxiety and the constant irritant of the province’s language police. The province punishes businesses with some of the highest taxes in North America, yet it has rung up a $2.4-billion deficit and a debt load equal to half its GDP, the highest in the country. When not arbitrarily overriding the rights of shareholders to protect underperforming Quebec companies, the government has flip-flopped on its attitude toward resource development. In short, it’s an economic environment layered with uncertainty, instability and state interference. For the longest time, the solution from the Quebec government to its stagnant business environment was more Quebec government, in the form of state-sponsored funds doling out cheques to those it deems to be worthy entrepreneurs. Just this past March, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec pension fund, that bastion of economic nationalism, joined with Desjardins Group to create a fund to pump $230 million into small and medium-sized enterprises, having already distributed $190 million to 186 other companies through an earlier fund. And yet the level of business creation is stuck in neutral. This is what Couillard faces. He’s said all the right things about tackling Quebec’s fiscal crisis: “The time for cosmetic changes is gone,” he said in his throne speech in May. “We must act firmly and decisively. And we will.” His far bigger challenge remains to make Quebec a place where entrepreneurs would want to set up shop. The best way he can do that is to get his government out of the way.
  9. LIST :: http://www.financialpost.com/magazine/fp500/list.html The beat goes on The right numbers are up. But momentum? That’s another thing Cooper Langford, Financial Post Business Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 Related Topics Story tools presented by Good stories start in the middle of the action, so let's do that - specifically at the No. 162 spot on the 2008 edition of the Financial Post 500, our annual ranking of Canada's largest companies by revenue. In that position: Martinrea International Inc., a Vaughan, Ont.-based auto-parts maker that's put the pedal to the metal in pursuit of growth. In a year when the loonie hit par with the U.S. buck and belt-tightening at Detroit's Big Three throttled the auto sector, Martinrea did a surprising thing: It more than doubled its revenue to $2 billion. In the process, it also jumped 168 places, making it one of the highest-climbing firms on our list. That an upstart underdog in a declining sector can deliver such a positive outcome says a lot about the stories, themes and companies that define this year's FP500. Some firms have had great years, but for many others it was just the opposite. And in a lot of cases, one company's good fortune comes at the expense of others. Martinrea, for example, made its big leap because it was able to acquire a major rival at depressed market prices. Likewise, factors such as the price of oil - which rose to within a hair's breadth of US$100 per barrel in 2007 - boosted most oil producers while hammering other companies that were directly or indirectly hurt by the high cost of fuel. Martinrea's success is revealing in one other way as well. With total revenue of all the FP500 companies increasing by just $44 billion in 2007 - to $1.583 trillion from $1.539 trillion - the little parts maker's $1.1-billion revenue gain represents fully 2.5% of the entire increase. When you're counting on a company that represents a meagre 0.1% of the total FP500 revenue to do that much heavy lifting, you have to wonder about the strength of the underlying economy and the prospects for the year ahead. Meanwhile, the theme of surprise extended to some of the largest companies on the FP500, too. Start with Royal Bank of Canada, which returns as No. 1 overall. No one doubted that it would retain its crown as Canada's largest corporation, but how many thought it would also lead our list of top revenue gainers? After all, the financial sector was hammered last year by fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis and the choked credit markets that followed. Yet RBC - thanks to its well-diversified base of revenue streams - shone through with a year-over-year increase of more than $5 billion. And then there's EnCana Corp. (No. 13), Canada's largest energy company and one of its most profitable firms. Many people will no doubt be surprised to find that it tops our list of biggest profit decliners. Granted, it still earned $4.3 billion, but that's off $2.1 billion from 2006, despite a 24% increase in revenue to $23 billion. Blame a steep mid-year dip in the price of natural gas, the erosion of margins due to the rising dollar and ever-escalating costs that resulted from shortages of materials and skilled labour. (A complete series of "Top 5" breakout lists and profiles accompanies this story.) ANYONE LOOKING for more predict-able outcomes can still hang their hat on the global commodity boom. While price increases didn't match those of 2006, there was still enough steam in the market for it to have a major impact on the list - powering up some of 2007's largest percentage revenue gains. Yamana Gold Inc. (No. 340), for example, leapt onto the FP500 with a 318% increase, to $800 million, following its $3.5-billion acquisition in September of Meridian Gold Inc. Soaring oil prices continued to stoke more than a few bottom lines across the energy sector - average revenue growth there came in at 18.8%. Leading the way was Calgary-based Harvest Energy Trust (No. 94) with a revenue increase of 193.2%, to $4 billion. This gain was due, in part, to its mid-2006 acquisition of North Atlantic Refining Ltd. in Come By Chance, N.L., a groundbreaking $1.6-billion deal that turned Harvest into Canada's first vertically integrated oil and gas royalty trust. At the same time, however, energy costs - coupled with the strong dollar - weighed heavily on central Canada. They wreaked havoc particularly on forestry companies already reeling from the collapse of the U.S. housing market. Indeed, of the 19 forestry firms on our ranking, only four avoided outright revenue declines. Nine of the remaining firms saw a double-digit fall in their income. Weyerhaeuser Canada Ltd. turned in the worst performance, stumbling to the No. 384 position from No. 231 as its revenue fell to $648 million - a 50% decrease, which earned it the dubious distinction of this year's "Worst Fall." The picture looks only a little brighter in the beleaguered manufacturing sector, where half of the 28 ranked firms posted revenue declines. In broad terms, though, the economy absorbed the worst of these impacts. Much like corporate revenue and profit (which climbed 4.4% for the FP500 as a whole, compared to a 34% rise in 2006), GDP growth held steady, clocking in at 2.7%, the same as 2006, but down from 2.9% in 2005. Unemployment, meanwhile, fell to 6%, its lowest level in 33 years. These kinds of numbers, it seems, were good enough to keep consumers in stores with their wallets open, as a look at some of the newcomers to the FP500 suggests. For evidence, look no further than the No. 288 position, occupied this year by consumer electronics manufacturer LG Electronics Canada, with revenue of $1 billion. A few ranks further down, at No. 311, you'll find Kia Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Korean auto maker Kia Motors, with revenue of almost $900 million. Equally intriguing - given fears for the future of the music and video retail business - is the arrival on the FP500 of HMV Canada Inc. at No. 500, with revenue of $407 million. Granted, HMV's revenue is actually down 0.6%, yet it still made the jump from No. 510 last year on the Next 300 list. DEALING WITH volatility and a rapidly changing economic landscape may have been the biggest theme in corporate Canada during 2007, but it wasn't the only one: Foreign takeovers also swept the market. The headlines were bigger in 2006, when iconic Canadian firms such as Hudson's Bay Co., Inco Ltd. and Dofasco fell into foreign hands. But it wasn't until last year that the number and value of takeover deals hit truly astonishing levels. In the first six months of 2007, the value of foreign M&A activity in Canada soared to $153 billion, according to investment banking firm Crosbie & Co. Inc., eclipsing the total of $102 billion for all of 2006. By the end of the year, the value of deals reached a record-setting $186.8 billion, with international miner Rio Tinto plc's $44.9-billion acquisition of Alcan Inc. (No. 7) leading the way. Other deals included Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp.'s $7.1-billion bid for Western Oil Sands Inc. (No. 296), Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.'s $5-billion takeout of PrimeWest Energy Trust (No. 398) and IBM Corp.'s $4.4-billion acquisition of software maker Cognos Inc. (No. 261). With those kinds of names and numbers in the air, it's no surprise that the flurry of activity reignited the age-old debate about the "hollowing" of corporate Canada. Dominic D'Alessandro, who recently announced he'll retire next year as CEO of Manulife Financial Corp. (No. 2), weighed in during his annual address to shareholders in May 2007, saying: "I sometimes worry that we may all wake up and find that, as a nation, we have lost control of our affairs." Others wondered what all the fuss was about. In a March 2007 report, the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity argued that Canada's ability to produce companies that are global leaders far outweighs the losses it has witnessed due to foreign takeovers. Among the examples it used to make its case were Research in Motion Ltd. (No. 65), North American convenience-store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (No. 24) and ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (No. 367), a manufacturing-solutions firm active in the international health-care, electronics and automotive sectors. We'll keep our opinions to ourselves, but here's one notable fact: According to Crosbie & Co., Canadian firms made twice as many acquisitions abroad as foreign firms did here. At $93 billion, however, the total value of those deals was only half the value of foreign takeovers in Canada. GIVEN ALL that acquisition activity in 2007, it's almost inevitable that some companies now on our list will have disappeared when it comes time to compile the FP500 for 2008. Others may fall off because their revenue stumbles to levels where they no longer make the cut-off. But the FP500 is a renewable resource; for every firm that leaves, there's another that takes its place. A scan of the Next 300, which follows our main ranking, offers hints. Companies that stand out include The Data Group Income Fund, which rose more than 100 positions to No. 507 and was just $10 million shy of making the big chart, as well as rising food manufacturer Lassonde Industries Inc. at No. 505, up from No. 545 in 2006. The biggest wild card for next year's ranking, however - one that affects nearly every company on both the FP500 and the Next 300 - has to do with where the economy will take them. The FP500 as a whole hasn't had a year of revenue decline since 2004 (and the drop was a miniscule $2 billion), but it looks like a distinct possibility if current GDP forecasts prove accurate. In late April, the Bank of Canada called for GDP growth of just 1.4% in 2008, with most private-sector forecasts in the same ballpark. While Canada's domestic markets should do okay, a weak U.S. economy will drag us down. Results like that, at least a full percentage point lower than 2007's 2.7%, would make it hard for FP500 revenue totals to stay out of the red. If so, spunky companies like Martinrea may be fewer and farther between when we do this again next year.
  10. Un très bon article du G&M ce matin sur la "résilience" de l'économie québécoise: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/few-bumps-in-la-belle-provinces-recession-ride/article1240146/ Few bumps in la belle province's recession ride At Sandoz Canada Inc. in Boucherville, Que., sales are rising and the work force is growing. The generic pharmaceutical producer's growth is more subdued than usual, to be sure. But this isn't the picture of a company struggling through a recession. And so goes Quebec, where the global slump has caused discomfort but not intense pain. The province's economy is contracting, but at nowhere near the pace of devastation as in other parts of Canada. This milder recession is seen in the job market, where employment has fallen just 0.7 per cent in the past year. And in the real estate market, where prices are stable. And at Sandoz, where revenue has climbed more than 10 per cent in the past year. “We've seen, over all, still some growth. And we've done some limited hiring,” said Pierre Fréchette, chief executive officer of the company, which opened a new factory in Boucherville last year. “We've been pretty sheltered from the situation outside of Canada, and outside Quebec.” For the country's second most populous province, it could have been a lot worse, even though the global crisis has struck hard at manufacturing and exports – two areas core to Quebec's economy. Thanks to export diversification, a real estate market that didn't overheat and sheer luck, the province that makes up 20 per cent of Canada's economic heft has fared much better than in past recessions. “The main industries of Quebec are not in restructuring mode. This is just a cyclical downturn,” said Sébastien Lavoie, economist at Laurentian Bank of Canada in Montreal. The most obvious example of the mild nature of the recession in Quebec is in the labour market. The 0.7-per-cent drop in employment in the past year compares with a 1.8-per-cent contraction nationally, and much larger declines in the other major provinces. Compared with previous recessions, Quebec workers have had it easy this time. The 1990s recession cut the provincial work force by 2.9 per cent, while the 1980s recession destroyed 7.4 per cent of jobs. Quebec's unemployment rate, now 8.8 per cent, is slightly above the national average (8.6 per cent), which is usual. But it is significantly below Ontario's 9.6 per cent. And most of Ontario's job losses have been full-time positions, while Quebec's are mainly part-time. Overall growth in Quebec contracted sharply in the first quarter, but, again, not as sharply as the country as a whole, nor as Ontario in particular. Indeed, Quebec's growth has outpaced Ontario since 2006 – a trend that is expected to persist into next year, and something that has not happened in decades. While Ontario and Quebec are often lumped together and characterized, fairly, as Canada's manufacturing heartland, the structure of Quebec's manufacturing sector has changed dramatically since the previous recession, analysts say. “Quebec has gone through a transformation,” said John Baldwin, director of the economic analysis division at Statistics Canada and one of Canada's top authorities on productivity. Free trade with the United States encouraged all of North America to shift from the manufacturing of non-durable goods to durable goods, to take advantage of economies of scale and growing global markets, according to a new paper by Mr. Baldwin. But Ontario's manufacturing and exports had always been concentrated in durable manufacturing – steel, cars, machinery and equipment. Quebec, on the other hand, was the centre of non-durable manufacturing for Canada, with its textiles and shoes. During the 1990s and especially in the past decade, Mr. Baldwin said, Quebec switched over, but expanded into areas where Ontario was not as dominant – aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Quebec had a painful adjustment, scaling back its textile sector and shutting down large parts of its pulp and paper industry in the past decade. But that restructuring is largely over, economists say. In this recession, like recessions of the past, manufacturing has suffered more than other sectors. But since Quebec does not have Ontario's dependence on U.S. consumption of cars, and is not as dependent on energy exports as the West, it has not been as vulnerable. About a third of Quebec's gross domestic product comes from exports, and 75 per cent of those exports go to the United States. But the U.S. market is far more important for Ontario because 42 per cent of the province's GDP comes from exports, and 84 per cent of its exports are sold to Americans. Sales of cars, mainly from Ontario, are down about 40 per cent so far this year. Quebec's aerospace sector has faltered too, recently, but not to the same extent. “We are not in the same situation as the auto sector,” said Joëlle Noreau, senior economist at Desjardins Group. But Quebec's recession is mild not simply because it avoided the crisis in the auto sector. It's also because export volumes have surged in other areas, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, rising 80 per cent so far this year from 2008. Most of that growth comes from generic drug companies taking advantage of expiring patents – a cycle that is not at all related to the global crisis, said Mr. Fréchette at Sandoz. “Obviously, we see pressure on our margins,” he said in an interview. “But our business is driven by very specific events. In general, the prospects are good.” While economists say they are tempted to point to clever business strategies and forward-thinking industrial policies as explanations for Quebec's mild recession, they are quick to say plain luck is a major factor, too. “We were blessed,” Ms. Noreau says. As Quebec's roads and bridges fell into disrepair a few years ago, the provincial government responded by investing heavily in infrastructure. Well before the recession started, the government earmarked $42-billion, or 14 per cent of GDP, for a five-year building plan. While other provinces are preparing to spend heavily, too, in a bid to fight off recession, Quebec's plan has already kicked into high gear, she said. Luck is also behind the stability in the housing market, said Marc Pinsonneault, senior economist at National Bank Financial. The prerecession runup in house prices was not nearly as notable in Quebec as in the West and Ontario, he said, so there was no bubble that needed bursting. Stable housing prices have meant that the net worth of many Quebeckers has not plunged as much as elsewhere, a trend that has added strength to the domestic side of the province's economy, Mr. Pinsonneault added. There are, of course, real fears that Quebec's luck could run out. The aerospace sector has stumbled in the past couple of months, and orders are drying up. Aerospace accounts for about a quarter of the province's exports, but sales typically respond to turns in the economy with an 18-month lag, said Jean-Michel Laurin, economist at the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Already, Bell Helicopter, a division of U.S.-based Textron Inc., announced 150 layoffs in July at its Montreal-area plant, linked to sagging demand for its products. In the refinery sector, Mr. Laurin adds, Royal Dutch Shell has warned that it could shut down its Montreal refinery that employs 550 people. The pharmaceutical industry will no doubt come under pressure as indebted governments around the world are pressured to cut health care costs in the coming years, to get their deficits under control. And the strong Canadian dollar is adding yet another burden to exporters' lists of problems, Mr. Laurin said. “Regardless of where you go in Quebec or Ontario, we're all very dependent on the U.S.”
  11. Big Apple starting to crumble Janet Whitman, Financial Post Published: Thursday, November 06, 2008 NEW YORK -- The Big Apple is losing its shine. After years of benefiting from consumer bingeing on everything from luxury lofts to US$99 hamburgers, New York is seeing a dramatic turn in its fortunes as Wall Street stumbles. Investment banks and other financial-services firms here have cut tens of thousands of high-wage jobs and many more pink slips still could be on the way as they grapple with the deepening credit crisis. This year's Wall Street bonus pool, which makes up the bulk of the pay for high-flying financial executives, is forecast to be chopped in half to US$16-billion. Businesses are already feeling the pinch. Revenue at some high-end Manhattan restaurants are down an estimated 20% this year and the once sizzling real-estate market is cooling fast. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week that the big drop in tax revenue collected from financial firms is forcing him to renege on planned US$400 property tax rebates for homeowners and to mull a 15% income tax hike. Economists said yesterday that the downturn could resemble New York's financial crisis in the early 1970s, when the city nearly went bankrupt and crime rates skyrocketed. "Compensation is going to be way down and that's going to weigh on restaurants and retailers and the housing market as well," said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Charlotte, N.C.-based bank Wachovia Corp. "We're going to have a very difficult climb back out of this. The recovery might begin in the middle of next year, but that just means things will stop getting worse." Mr. Vitner said it could take at least three years before New York starts to see strong growth and five years before the city gets back to normal. After the dot-com bust in 1999 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, New York soon roared back, fueled by Wall Street's recovery. But the city can't depend on Wall Street this time around. "The flavour is different," said James Brown, a New York state Department of Labor regional analyst who focuses on New York City. "It's not clear how much growth we can expect from our financial sector in the next upturn. We don't know to what degree they may not be as profitable and able to lavish the same high salaries in the next boom as they have in the past booms." With the U.S. government looking to avoid sowing the seeds for a future financial crisis by cracking down on executive bonuses and limiting how much financial firms can wager, Wall Street's recovery could be slow. That's bad news for New York State, which depends on the financial sector for 20% of its revenue. The state already is facing its biggest budget gap in history, at US$47-billion over the next four years. The crisis last week prompted New York State Gov. David Paterson to ask U.S. Congress for billions of dollars in federal assistance. New York City has been particularly hard hit. For every Wall Street job another three or four will be lost in the city. Despite the doom and gloom, Mr. Bloomberg assured New Yorkers at a press briefing this week that the city wouldn't return "to the dark days of the 1970s when service cuts all but destroyed our quality of life." The mayor, who is seeking a third term to guide the city through the crisis, said New York is in much better fiscal shape than it was then and won't make the same mistakes. Still, he warned, it could be as many as five years before financial companies have to start paying city or state taxes again because of the half a trillion dollars in write-downs they have taken, which will offset future profits.
  12. Europe Works to Contain Crisis Article Tools Sponsored By NYC Times By CARTER DOUGHERTY, NELSON SCHWARTZ and FLOYD NORRIS Published: October 6, 2008 European nations scrambled further Monday to prevent a growing credit crisis from bringing down major banks and alarming savers as Sweden followed Germany, Austria and Denmark in offering new protections for bank deposits. As troubles in financial markets spread around the world, some governments are eager to act to avoid the mistakes of the 1930s when authorities sat on their hands during the Wall Street crash and its aftermath, Julian Chillingworth, chief investment officer at Rathbone Unit Trust Management in London, said. Sweden became the latest European country to offer protection for bank deposits, after the German government offered blanket guarantees Sunday to all private savings accounts. Austria and Denmark also did the same. Britain’s government on Monday scrambled to find ways to help the country’s ailing banking sector and even considered a partial nationalization of the industry. The chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, continued to consult with advisers on Monday on ways to stabilize the banking sector, which may include a recapitalization financed by taxpayers, said a person at the Treasury who declined to be identified because the discussions were private. Stocks fell sharply on Monday in London, Paris and Frankfurt. New bailouts were arranged late Sunday for two European companies, Hypo Real Estate, a large German mortgage lender, and Fortis, a large banking and insurance company based in Belgium but active across much of the Continent. Under the agreement, BNP Paribas will acquire the Belgium and Luxembourg banking operations of Fortis for about $20 billion. The spreading worries came days after the United States Congress approved a $700 billion bailout package that officials had hoped would calm financial markets globally. The crisis in Europe appears to be the most serious one to face the Continent since a common currency, the euro, was created in 1999. Jean Pisani-Ferry, director of the Bruegel research group in Brussels, said Europe confronted “our first real financial crisis, and it’s not just any crisis. It’s a big one.” Britain is coming under increasing pressure to act. Some investors criticized the government for failing to set up an American-style rescue fund and for its piecemeal approach to deal with each problem. “The government needs to get on their front foot and get control of their own destiny,” Mr. Chillingworth said. “We could well be in a period where we see a quasi-nationalization in the banking sector, where taxpayers are taking equity stakes.” Britain partly nationalized Bradford & Bingley last week after the mortgage lender struggled to get financing and brokered a takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB after its shares lost most of its value. From Tuesday, the government will also increase the amount of retail deposits it guarantees to £50,000, or $88,600, from £35,000. Some analysts said guaranteeing deposits might reinstate client confidence but would fall short of bringing back the trust among banks that is desperately needed to encourage them to lend to each other. British banks remain burdened by their exposure to worthless mortgage assets, but the larger problem remains their unwillingness to lend to one another — even after an injection of £40 billion by the Bank of England. “Liquidity is drying up,” said Richard Portes, a professor of economics at the London Business School. “The authorities have to deal with this paralysis in the money markets.” The European Central Bank has aggressively lent money to banks as the crisis has grown. It had resisted lowering interest rates, but signaled on Thursday that it might cut rates soon. The extra money, aimed at ensuring that banks have adequate access to cash, has not reassured savers or investors, and European stock markets have performed even worse than the American markets. In Iceland, government officials and banking chiefs were discussing a possible rescue plan for the country’s commercial banks. In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, appeared on television Sunday to promise that all bank deposits would be protected, although it was not clear whether legislation would be needed to make that promise good. Mindful of the rising public anger at the use of public money to buttress the business of high-earning bankers, Ms. Merkel promised a day of reckoning for them as well. “We are also saying that those who engaged in irresponsible behavior will be held responsible,” she said. The events in Berlin and Brussels underscored the failure of Europe’s case-by-case approach to restoring confidence in the Continent’s increasingly jittery banking sector. A meeting of European heads of state in Paris on Saturday did little to calm worries, though officials there pledged to work together to ensure market stability. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and his counterparts from Germany, Britain and Italy vowed to prevent a Lehman Brothers-like bankruptcy in Europe but they did not offer a sweeping American-style bailout package. The growing crisis has underlined the difficulty of taking concerted action in Europe because its economies are far more integrated than its governing structures. “We are not a political federation,” Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, said after the meeting. “We do not have a federal budget.” Last week, Ireland moved to guarantee both deposits and other liabilities at six major banks. There was grumbling in London and Berlin about the move giving those banks an unfair advantage. But Germany proposed its deposit guarantee Sunday after Britain raised its guarantee. The German officials emphasized that the guarantee applied only to private depositors, not to the banks themselves. But on Monday, Mr. Steinbrück said the government was considering an “umbrella” to protect the banking sector. Unlike in the United States, where deposits are now fully guaranteed up to a limit of $250,000 — a figure that was raised from $100,000 last week — deposits in most European countries have been only partly guaranteed, sometimes by groups of banks rather than governments. In Germany, the first 90 percent of deposits up to 20,000 euros, or about $27,000, was guaranteed. Even before the Paris meeting began it was becoming clear that two bailouts announced the week before had not succeeded and that UniCredit, a major Italian bank, might be in trouble. UniCredit announced plans on Sunday to raise as much as 6.6 billion euros. Fortis, which only a week ago received 11.2 billion euros from the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, was unable to continue its operations. On Friday, the Dutch government seized its operations in that country, and late Sunday night the Belgian government helped to arrange for BNP Paribas, the French bank, to take control of the company for 14.5 billion euros, or about $20 billion. In Berlin, the government arranged a week ago for major banks to lend 35 billion euros to Hypo Real Estate, but that fell apart when the banks concluded that far more money would be needed. Late Sunday night the government said a package of 50 billion euros had been arranged, with both the government and other banks taking part. The credit crisis began in the United States, a fact that has led European politicians to assert superiority for their countries’ financial systems, in contrast to what Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister of Italy, called the “speculative capitalism” of the United States. On Saturday, Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, said the crisis “has come from America,” and Mr. Berlusconi bemoaned the lack of business ethics that had been exposed by the crisis. Many of the European banks’ problems have stemmed from bad loans in Europe, and Fortis got into trouble in part by borrowing money to make a major acquisition. But activities in the United States have played a role. Bankers said Sunday that the need for additional money at Hypo came from newly discovered guarantees it had issued to back American municipal bonds that it had sold to investors. The credit market worries came on top of heightening concerns about economic growth in Europe and the United States. “Unless there is a material easing of credit conditions,” said Bob Elliott of Bridgewater Associates, an American money management firm, after retail sales figures were announced, “it is unlikely that demand will turn around soon.” Henry M. Paulson Jr., the United States Treasury secretary, hoped that approval of the American bailout, which involved buying securities from banks at more than their current market value, would free up credit by making cash available for banks to lend and by reassuring participants in the credit markets. But that did not happen last week. Instead, credit grew more expensive and harder to get as investors became more skittish about buying commercial paper, essentially short-term loans to companies. Rates on such loans rose so fast that some feared the market could essentially close, leaving it to already-stressed banks to provide short-term corporate loans. Europe’s need to scramble is in part the legacy of a decision to establish the euro, which 15 countries now use, but not follow up with a parallel system of cross-border regulation and oversight of private banks. “First we had economic integration, then we had monetary integration,” said Sylvester Eijffinger, a member of the monetary expert panel advising the European Parliament. “But we never developed the parallel political and regulatory integration that would allow us to face a crisis like the one we are facing today.” In Brussels, Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies, agreed. “Maybe they will be shocked into thinking more strategically instead of running behind events,” he said. “The later you come, the higher the bill.” While the European Central Bank has power over interest rates and broader monetary policy, it was never granted parallel oversight of private banks, leaving that task to dozens of regulators across the Continent. This patchwork system includes national central banks in each of the euro zone’s 15 members and they still retain broad powers within their own borders, further complicating any regional approach to problem-solving. “The European banking landscape was transformed fairly recently,” Mr. Pisani-Ferry said. “When the euro was first introduced, the question of cross-border regulation didn’t really arise.” Optimists say one potential long-term benefit from the current turmoil is that it often takes a crisis to propel European integration forward. “Progress in Europe is usually the result of a crisis,” Mr. Eijffinger said. “This could be one of those rare moments in E.U. history.”
  13. Has Canada slipped into recession without anyone noticing? July 16, 2008 - 6:35 pm By: Julian Beltrame, THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA - Canada is within a hair's breadth of slipping into a technical recession, economists said Wednesday, a day after the outlook for the North American economy soured sharply. But they add that it won't seem like recessions of the past. In fact, says University of Toronto economist Peter Dungan, Canadians may already have lived through a technical recession - two quarters in a row of a shrinking economy - and not noticed. "Our forecast is there's a recession now," Dungan said. "There may be a slight revision to the first quarter, but the second (which ended June 30) is almost certainly negative. "This is nothing like the recessions we had in the early '90s and early '80s, however, when we had serious recessions and serious unemployment," he added. The early '80s recession came after two major oil price shocks in the 1970s that battered the North American economy and led to a restructuring of heavy industry, especially steel and autos, with the loss of millions of jobs. The early 1990s recession produced widespread bankruptcies in real estate and retail before growth resumed a few years earlier. Speaking in Calgary, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty expressed confidence that the economy would stay on the positive side of the ledger and insisted Ottawa won't fall into a deficit as a result of the slowdown. "We are on track in terms of our budget in Canada, that we will continue to run a surplus," he said, adding that the country's "strong fundamentals" and status as an emerging energy superpower will keep it in better shape than the United States, although not immune to a global economic slowdown. "Canada is not an island," Flaherty said earlier in a speech to a Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Following a first quarter contraction that saw gross domestic product fall 0.3 per cent and continuing signs of stress, economists and policy makers have been routinely revising their growth projections for the year, all trending downward. In the last week, Canadians have been hit by a series of bad news announcements. Employment fell in June for the first time this year and full-time employment tumbled for the second straight month. Average home sale prices edged down during the month, the first year-over year price decline in nearly a decade. And General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) announced plans to lay off 20 per cent of its white collar staff in North America, a further cut of thousands of jobs. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada warned of rising inflation Tuesday while lowering its 2008 growth forecast from 1.4 per cent in April to one per cent. On Wednesday, the Conference Board of Canada downgraded its projection from 2.2 per cent this spring to 1.7 per cent. For both, it was the second downward revision so far this year. Both are overly optimistic, says David Wolf, chief economist with Merrill Lynch Canada, who says gross domestic product increase will likely come in at a tepid 0.5 per cent this year, a statistical blip from recessionary times. "Absolutely, by the informal definition of recession we could be in recession," agrees Global Insight economist Dale Orr, noting that nobody will know for sure until late in August, when Statistics Canada releases the second quarter growth tally. But Orr also points out that the Canadian economy still has some legs, particularly in the resource and oil and sector, consumer spending, and employment and housing that while slowing, are coming off record-setting years. Even manufacturing showed signs of life in May. Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that manufacturing sales rose 2.7 per cent from April, the fourth increase in five months. The details behind the aggregate number were weaker as sales remain below last year's levels and most of the gain was due to higher prices, not increased production. The strongest pillar remains high-priced commodities, particularly Alberta oil, which is bringing tremendous wealth into the country and helping grease the general economy through corporate profits, job creation, and higher government revenues that get passed along in lower taxes and higher spending. "Perhaps the volume of what we produce is going down, but the wealth effect (from commodity exports) is very much there," said Pedro Antunes of the Conference Board. "We often think that's beneficial for some regions and sectors, but there have been redistributive effects. The federal government has collected dividends that's been fanned out to all Canadians in the form of tax cuts, and the effect on stock prices, wages, employment have been distributed all over the country." That has kept nominal gross domestic product growth - which measures the actual worth of what Canadians produce - above four per cent, as opposed to the flat performance in real growth, which measures the amount produced. "The hurt in Canada is narrowly focused in the trade sector," Orr says. "If you are in Windsor, Ont., where unemployment is near 10 per cent and the value of your home is falling, or in the auto sector, or if you are in a forestry one-industry town in northern Ontario or Quebec or B.C., then you are really hurting." But for most Canadians the slump has yet to register and likely won't if forecasts of a second-half improvement prove accurate. And for those who live off the resource sector, this is boom times, says Orr. Dungan says another difference between today and recessions of the previous two decades is that inflation, while rising, remains relatively tame, and governments now have the wherewithal to stimulate the economy or at least not inflict further harm. "The Bank of Canada is trying to keep inflation from rising, not reduce it, and generally speaking prevention is not as costly and not as unpleasant as cure," he explained. "And our government balances are basically OK. It's not like 1991 when we had huge deficits and therefore you couldn't do anything, if anything you were trying to raise taxes to make those better, which only makes the downturn worse."
  14. Montréal ranks first for university research in Canada - Montréal universities received $1 billion in funding MONTREAL, Nov. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Greater Montréal ranked first among all metropolitan areas in Canada, both in terms of funding allocated to university research and in number of university researchers. Such were the findings of an analysis conducted by Montréal International based on ranking issued by the Research Infosource firm on research funding attributed to Canadian universities by federal and provincial organizations, and the private sector. The study also found that in 2006, six of Montréal's main university establishments managed research funds totalling a billion dollars, i.e. 18% of the country's total research budget. Greater Montréal is also the national champion in terms of number of university researchers, who numbered close to 5,500 in 2006, i.e. over a thousand more than its closest competitor, Toronto. These statistics once again confirm Montréal's vocation as Canada's capital of university research. Montréal has held on to the lead position in this respect since 1999. During the 1999-2006 period, Montréal universities alone had over $6.5 billion at their disposal, i.e. 20% of the Canadian total. Pierre Brunet, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Montréal International, underscored the pivotal role of university research in the context of today's knowledge-based economy: "Research activities and the spinoffs of our university system help make Greater Montréal more competitive on the world stage. Because innovation is a powerful driver of economic development and a key element of the drawing power of urban centres, particularly in the high-technology sectors, Montréal's universities can certainly be considered as extremely strategic assets." Recognized as a world-class centre for academic instruction, Montréal boasts 11 university establishments, notably McGill University, Concordia University, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, Institut national de la recherche scientifique and Ecole de technologie supérieure, all of which are mentioned in the study. About Montréal International Montréal International was created in 1996 as a result of a private/public partnership. Its mission is to contribute to the economic development of Greater Montréal and to enhance its international status. Its mandates include attracting foreign investment, international organizations and strategic workers, and supporting the development of innovation and high-technology clusters in the region. Montréal International is financed by the private sector, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, the City of Montréal and the governments of Canada and Québec. Since 2000, Montréal International has been involved in 379 direct foreign investment projects totalling $5.6 billion. From these investments, 28,186 jobs have been created and 5,459 jobs have been maintained. For further information: Céline Clément, Communications Advisor, Montréal International, (514) 987-9390, [email protected], www.montrealinternational.com
  15. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/two-montrealers-striving-to-improve-citys-economic-lot?__lsa=4920-2f19 Among the people charged with promoting Montreal’s economic development, Éric Lemieux and Dominique Anglade are on the front lines. They’re battling with other cities around the world as Montreal vies for scarce new jobs and investment dollars, often competing against lucrative incentives offered by other jurisdictions. Lemieux is trying to breathe new life into the city’s financial sector while Anglade seeks out high-tech companies, aerospace firms and life science businesses willing to invest here. Banks and insurance companies have moved their headquarters to Toronto and local stock exchanges have closed but Lemieux, who heads the private-public agency known as Finance Montreal, sees new opportunities ahead. “Canada has a stable economy with good financial regulation,” he says, and the country emerged from the 2008-09 financial crisis with a healthy banking sector. That should help to attract international banking activities. The city has an “excellent pool of talent supplied by its universities and business schools,” he says, with 8,000 students enrolled in finance programs. It also boasts much cheaper operating costs than places like New York and Boston. “Banks like BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Morgan Stanley all made the decision to locate some of their operations here.” Montreal has over 100,000 jobs in the financial sector and derives close to 7 per cent of local GDP from the 3,000 financial firms working here. It’s become an important centre for pension fund management, led by the giant provincial agency the Caisse de dépot et placement as well as other large players such as PSP Investments and Fiera Capital. The sector includes more than 250 money-management firms. The city is developing a new area of expertise in financial derivatives like futures and options on stocks, currencies and bonds, which are traded on the Montreal Exchange. And financial technology is also a selling point for Montreal. It has a growing presence in software development and information technology for the asset management industry, as traders look for every technical edge they can get. Part of Lemieux’s effort comes through the International Financial Centre program, which offers employment-based tax credits to financial firms that set up international operations here. “I think it’s a good success story,” he says. “There are more than 60 companies and 1,000 jobs that have located here” under the plan. “Seventy per cent of them would not be in Montreal if there wasn’t this support. We’re talking of $100 million in direct and indirect benefits.” Another important asset is the local venture capital industry, which finances startups and early-stage firms founded by entrepreneurs. The sector is led by such funding institutions as Teralys Capital and the Fonds de Solidarité. Put it all together and the portrait of the city doesn’t look too bad. According to the Global Financial Index — an international ranking that measures both size and industry perceptions — Montreal is the world’s 18th financial centre, up from 31st spot four years ago. Dominique Anglade runs Montreal International, the agency that prospects worldwide for foreign direct investment on behalf of the 82 municipalities in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal. Like Lemieux, she sees fierce competition for investment dollars. In this tough environment, the Montreal area has had its share of successes. 2013 was an exceptional year, as Montreal International helped to secure a record $1.2 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI). The year just ended will fall short of that mark but will “continue our momentum,” says Anglade. The city was recognized as having the best attraction strategy in North America in a survey by FDI Magazine, a sister publication to Britain’s Financial Times. The record performance was driven by several major expansions of foreign multinationals in the Montreal area, including French video-game maker Ubisoft and Swedish telecom giant Ericsson. The presence of multinationals is critical to the Montreal economy. They account for 20 per cent of local GDP and nine per cent of jobs, as well as a large share of private research and development. Montreal International’s task is to convince them not only to stay but to invest and expand here. Multinationals often pit one plant location against another to see which one will produce the best value proposition. Montreal International’s job is to stay in constant touch with the companies that have a presence here to find out what they want to accomplish and what they need to survive. Anglade targets certain niches where the city is already strong such as information technology, video games, special effects for movies and TV, aerospace and life sciences. Information technology represented by far the biggest share of the new money coming into the city in 2013. The video game industry also remains a strong performer, with five of the world’s top 10 selling games produced in Montreal. A significant percentage of deals — about 60 per cent — involve government financial assistance through provincial tax credits but Anglade doesn’t apologize for the financial aid offered to the private sector. “The competition in the U.S. has no limit. They have billions in terms of incentives and that’s why we have to be extremely strategic in Montreal and focus on specific sectors.” She notes that Swedish appliance maker Electrolux opted to close its plant in nearby L’Assomption, employing 1,300, and shifted operations to Tennessee after it was offered a rich package of incentives by three levels of government. Still, in industries that require more skill and knowledge, the availability of talent is Montreal’s strong point, Anglade says. “One of the surprises that people have about Montreal is its talent pool. I can’t tell you how many companies have said ‘wow, this is amazing’ when they start to fill positions here. It’s why we need to stress the importance of education. It’s critical for the future of Quebec.”
  16. Quebec +48000 private sector jobs more than any other province for 2015
  17. I'm waiting for the usual suspects to put a negative spin to this article... 2015-11-26 Cape Breton Post.com MONTREAL - A new forecast by the Canadian government's lending agency says Quebec's highly diversified economy is on track for a 10 per cent increase in exports this year and eight per cent growth in 2016. Export Development Canada says the continued growth is being led by strong international demand for aircraft and parts, which accounts for nearly 14 per cent of the total value of Quebec exports. EDC says those exports are expected to rise 33 per cent this year and another 17 per cent in 2016. Metals, ores and other industrial products make up the largest sector of Quebec exports are expected to rise five per cent this year and by six per cent growth next year. But the EDC says within this sector, iron ore exports remain depressed as a result of continued price weaknesses and the closure of Cliffs Natural Resources' Bloom Lake mine. "Quebec has a very vibrant aircraft and parts sector and not just the big companies such as Bombardier, CAE and Pratt & Whitney, but also the many smaller firms that supply them," said EDC chief economist Peter Hall. "Demand from around the world, including from emerging markets, has been very strong in 2015, and this will continue in 2016." The EDC also says strong U.S. housing starts are creating demand for lumber and this is helping to drive six per cent growth in exports by Quebec's forestry sector in 2015 and four per cent growth in 2016. The increase in lumber exports also helps to offset a decline in newsprint and pulp exports caused by non-tariff trade barriers in several countries and the closure of several Quebec mills. "Quebec is one of Canada's more diversified export economies, both in terms of what it sells and where it sells," said Hall. "That said, most of the growth this year and next will come from the United States, where the economy is showing no signs of slowing down."
  18. Source: http://www.financialpost.com/working/story.html?id=272627 Montreal's aerospace sector skyrockets Hiring Overseas Christopher De Wolf, Canwest News Service* MONTREAL - There's no way around it: The Aerospace industry in Montreal is booming. So much, in fact, that a new report issued by the Conference Board of Canada credits it with being the main force behind Montreal's economy, which is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2008. Just last week, the federal government announced that Quebec aerospace companies will benefit from $660-million in contracts to build parts for new Canadian Forces airplanes. That should lead to even more job growth in the sector, which already counts 44,548 positions in Greater Montreal, an increase of more than 2,500 since 2006. For many companies, finding new employees is a challenge. That's the case for Alta Precision Inc., a 50-employee Anjou, Que.-based company that makes landing gear components. "Our biggest hardship in 2007 was finding the right labour," said Giovanni Bevilacqua, the company's director of business development. "We've actually been going to India and Romania to find new people. " Alta Precision needs to fill 15 positions, Mr. Bevilacqua said. He expects most of its new hires to come from overseas, where it is easier to find workers with several years of experience. But that doesn't mean it has given up on local talent: Last year, the company invested in advertising, headhunters and in-school recruitment to find new employees. Mr. Bevilacqua said that as a small company, Alta Precision has a hard time competing for workers with "big boys" including Pratt &Whitney. Jean-Daniel Hamelin, spokesman for Pratt & Whitney Canada, a Longueuil-based aircraft engine manufacturer, stressed that the diversity of aerospace employers in Montreal is what makes the industry so strong. "If you have an excellent pool of candidates and a large group of employees, they can seek the employer that best suits their need," he said. Last fall, Pratt & Whitney Canada hosted a job fair for the first time in years. "It was a real success," Mr. Hamelin said. "We had about 100 positions to fill and we ended up retaining 175 candidates." The company's workforce now numbers 5,700 in the Montreal area. One of Pratt & Whitney's greatest sources of new recruits are students from Montreal's post-secondary aerospace programs, including those offered by the Montreal Aerospace Trade School, the National Aerotechnical School and the engineering departments at McGill and Concordia universities. Serge Tremblay, president of the Center for Aerospace Manpower Activities in Quebec, a non-profit organization that works with major aerospace players to develop skilled labour in the industry, said innovation is key to Montreal's success. "[in Montreal,] we invest close to 10% of our sales in research and development. By investing millions of dollars a year, it's obvious that you're in it for innovation," he said. Bravo Chris, aka Kilgore Trout :-)