Brian Robbins, CEO of automotive and industrial supplier Exco Technologies Ltd., is feeling confident about expanding his company’s business.
Within the last month, Exco has spent more than $20-million opening new facilities in Thailand and Brazil, with another new plant planned for Texas and some “cautious” investment in Canada, Mr. Robbins said. He said there’s solid U.S. demand for Exco’s products and he’s confident the American economy is only going to get better.
OTTAWA — Maybe “dead money” is a bit of a misnomer. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that cash reserves of Canadian corporations are merely “sleeping” — and growing — until there is a louder economic wakeup call.
Statistics Canada said Thursday that private non-financial corporations increased their cash holdings to $630-billion in the first quarter of this year — up from $621-billion at the end of 2013.
“It would be nice if we could wake it up and get it invested in the economy,” said economist Erin Weir, at the United Steelworkers union.
OTTAWA — What’s plaguing corporate Canada?
In recent weeks, Canadian businesses — sitting on historically massive cash reserves — have been under fire for using temporary foreign workers or unpaid interns, and chided by political leaders for failing to raise wages or invest in employee training.
They’ve been maligned even by the traditionally business-friendly Fraser Institute for collecting billions of dollars in so-called corporate welfare for decades.
In response to an unexpected weakening in Canadian employment, the Canadian Dollar Weakens. The Canadian dollar weakened the most in seven weeks after employment unexpectedly declined for the second time in three months in April, boosting bets the Bank of Canada may lower interest rates to support economic growth.
TORONTO — Canadian corporate profits have declined in five of the past six quarters and are now 16% below their post-recession peak in late 2011, according to a study released Tuesday by TD Bank.
“This decline is not as bad as during the last recession, but it is approaching the performance Canadian firms saw during the U.S. downturn in 2000-2001,” TD economist Leslie Preston writes.
Key export-driven sectors like manufacturing and resources have seen the most weakness.
While Ottawa agreed in Budget 2013 to extend tax breaks for manufacturers for two years, a request by developers of liquefied natural gas terminals on Canada’s West Coast to receive similar tax savings fell on deaf ears.
Before they start crying foul that the West’s energy industry is being shortchanged relative to the Eastern-based manufacturing sector, developers of the new projects should be reminded that their ask showed poor judgment in the first place.
The business of salvaging distressed companies itself is in desperate need of rescue.
Consider that insolvency practitioners — lawyers, accountants, consultants and the like — in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. have pocketed $837-million in professional fees and disbursements since Nortel Networks Corp. filed for court protection from creditors in January, 2009. And the tab is still running.
West Fraser Timber (WFTBF.PK)
Q3 2012 Earnings Call
October 30, 2012 11:30 am ET
Henry H. Ketcham - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Larry S. Hughes - Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance
Peter A. Rippon - Vice-President of Pulp and Energy
Christopher D. McIver - Vice-President of Lumber Sales and Corporate Development
Edward R. Seraphim - President and Chief Operating Officer