North America

As housing affordability continues to be a consistent struggle for Canadians, new data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) confirms just how bad Canadian household debt is getting, Toronto Storeys reported. The new data revealed that 2019 saw the second-highest number of annual consumer insolvency filings ever in Canada, with 137,178 Canadians filing for insolvency, a 9.5% year-over-year growth.

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Bombardier exited commercial aviation on Thursday, selling a loss-making plane programme that ended its high-stakes gamble on a new jet that once drove it to the brink of bankruptcy, Reuters reported. The Canadian plane and train maker sold its minority stake in the A220 jet, formerly known as the CSeries, to Airbus SE (AIR.PA) for $600 million (£460 million), and said it would take a $1.6 billion charge on the programme.

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Canadian consumers filed the largest number of insolvencies in almost a decade at the end of last year, stoking concern about the impact of record indebtedness on households and the economy, Bloomberg News reported. Insolvencies totaled 35,155 in the final three months of 2019, the most in any one quarter since 2010, according to data released Monday by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada. That’s up 10.2% compared with 31,900 in the same period a year earlier and is about 5,000 shy of the record 40,589 reached in the third quarter of 2009.

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Insolvency and bankruptcy rates in Saskatchewan are rising, according to the latest MNP Consumer Index Report, Global News reported. The report indicates about 52 per cent of residents say they could not cover a $200 expense at the end of the month. Forty-five per cent believe they won’t be able to cover their expenses in 2020 without diving deeper into debt.

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Bombardier Inc. fell the most on record after warning of disappointing fourth-quarter sales and revealing that it may exit a joint venture with Airbus SE that makes the A220 jetliner and potentially take a major writedown, Bloomberg News reported. A ramp-up in A220 production will require additional cash investment, pushing back the break-even point and generating lower returns across the lifetime of the project, Bombardier said in a statement Thursday.

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The chorus of voices warning of risks to Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s balance sheet is growing louder. With a C$360 million loan coming due in August 2021, at least three analysts have cautioned that the pot company may be unable to meet the covenants on that debt, Bloomberg News reported. “With balance sheet risks to remain a core investment thesis in 2020 in our view, and lingering uncertainty especially on financial covenants, we struggle to envision a scenario where shares have sustainable support,” Bank of America analyst Christopher Carey said in a note published Friday.

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Personal insolvencies become more common when interest rates rise. In Canada, people are filing for insolvency at a higher rate than usual, The Post Millennial reported. According to The Toronto Star, experts are saying that we haven’t had this many instances since the financial crisis in 2008-09. President of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restricting Professionals, Grant Christensen said, “It’s fairly clear what’s going on.

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When Denis O’Brien sold out of Ireland’s biggest newspaper group in 2019, the billionaire drew a line under an investment that had cost him more than €450m. Now the country’s richest man faces crunch time again as Digicel, the Jamaica-based mobile phone company he launched in 2001, struggles to refinance the company in the face of its $6.7bn debt, the Financial Times reported. The company was once a cash cow for Mr O’Brien.

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Celadon Group is seeking to have its U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings recognized in Canada, court filings show, Freight Waves reported. But an ongoing federal investigation into the dismissals at Hyndman Transport might complicate that. Celadon will petition an Ontario court, likely the Superior Court of Justice, to have the U.S. bankruptcy recognized as the primary proceeding, according to documents in Celadon’s Chapter 11 case underway at U.S. federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. The U.S.

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Alberta's volume of insolvency filings continues to surpass the numbers seen during the global financial crisis a decade ago, as people and businesses still suffer the effects of the latest recession, CBC reported. The latest report from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada says there were 15 per cent more consumer insolvencies in Alberta during the 12 months ending in October 2019, compared to a year earlier. The report says 16,315 Albertans filed for insolvency during that time, compared with 14,192 the previous year.

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