Canada’s malls are facing a wave of skipped rents and could see vacancy rates triple by year-end, with the coronavirus poised to leave its scars on a fragile retail sector long after the pandemic ends. In the country’s enclosed regional malls -- a category that includes Toronto’s Eaton Centre and Pacific Centre in Vancouver -- only 20% to 25% of tenants paid rent in April, according to brokerage firm JLL Canada, Bloomberg News reported. Big box shopping centers and community strip malls took in only a little over half their expected rent.
Resources Per Country
Canada’s stellar credit rating is being put to the test as the oil crash and recession expose the country’s weak link: its provinces, Bloomberg News reported. Among the Group of Seven countries, only Germany and Canada have AAA ratings from S&P Global Ratings. But as pressure rises on the government of Justin Trudeau to aid provinces and key industries, Canada’s fiscal position is looking shakier. Going into the Covid-19 crisis, Canada’s provincial governments had C$853 billion ($602 billion) of debt securities outstanding, more than the national government.
Canadian companies are chopping costs, suspending dividends, and cutting CEO salaries to stave off loan defaults amid the coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported. But there hasn’t yet been a jump in formal bankruptcy filings, according to one of the country’s top restructuring lawyers. Instead, the emerging pain for big and small companies is spelling booming business for out-of-court proceedings, said Luc Morin, a Montreal-based insolvency and corporate restructuring partner at Norton Rose Fulbright.
The finance chief of Grupo Aeromexico SAB, Mexico’s largest airline by market value, says the company will weather a pandemic that dried up passenger demand and drove the firm’s bonds to distressed levels, even without the safety net of a potential government aid package, Bloomberg News reported. Aeromexico bonds due in 2025 now fetch just 31 cents on the dollar after the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions all but erased global demand for passenger flights.
A recent survey is showing alarming results and points to “a coming crisis” for the City of Vancouver’s finances, according to Mayor Kennedy Stewart, Daily Hive reported. The mayor recently shared the results of an online study conducted by the Research Co., surveying the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver residents. The survey said that half of Vancouver’s households are reporting an “overall decrease in income,” with 24% experiencing a significant decrease. Nearly half of respondents (46%) said that they had either lost their jobs or were given reduced hours.
Many Latin America countries are announcing hefty support packages to keep businesses afloat during the economic downturn from the coronavirus, The Wall Street Journal reported. But Mexico’s nationalist leader is giving the private sector the cold shoulder, leading to growing friction between the government and business in the U.S.’s largest trading partner. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has ruled out tax breaks or other kinds of help for businesses, saying those policies amount to a handout to the rich.
After suffering its worst quarter since the global financial crisis, Canadian stocks slumped on Wednesday as investors digested worsening U.S. coronavirus figures and assessed the pandemic’s impact on corporate profits, Bloomberg News reported. The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost 3.8% on the first day of the second quarter, with 10 out of its 11 sectors in the red. Gold stocks rallied as market jitters led to a surge in haven assets. Montreal-based Dollarama Inc.
A licenced insolvency trustee in Charlottetown is calling on the federal government to put in measures to help Islanders who are dealing with job loss also deal with their debt repayment and avoid bankruptcy, The Guardian reported. "People are stressed and scared, said Walter MacKinnon, who is also vice-president with MNP in Charlottetown. He said one type of call he has been receiving recently is from people who have made an insolvency proposal that has been accepted.
Billionaire John Fredriksen’s Seadrill Ltd. re-hired long time adviser Houlihan Lokey Inc. to engage in fresh talks with lenders, people familiar with the situation said, Bloomberg News reported. The drilling operator, which was already struggling before the coronavirus outbreak, plans to negotiate with creditors after its business was hurt further by the historic slump in oil prices over recent weeks, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Even in an industry devastated by the coronavirus crisis, Latin American airlines stand out. Five of the biggest carriers in the region -- Latam Airlines Group SA, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Azul SA, Avianca and Volaris -- have seen about $12 billion in their market value wiped out since the end of January through Wednesday’s close, Bloomberg News reported. On average, their stock tumbled 78% in local currency terms, more than all 23 members in the Bloomberg World Airlines Index. The global gauge is down 46% in the period.