TORONTO, March 1 (Reuters) – Strong mortgage lending
helped drive quarterly profits above expectations at three of
Canada’s big banks, allowing the country’s two biggest lenders
to raise dividends and showing that Canadian consumers are still
borrowing in droves.
Shares of top lenders Royal Bank of Canada and
Toronto-Dominion Bank surged on the news of the higher
lending, which follows warnings from federal officials that
consumer debt levels are dangerously high.
TORONTO, March 1 (Reuters) – Canada’s two biggest
banks surprised the market with dividend hikes on Wednesday as
record earnings from their domestic bank networks helped them
turn in better-than-expected quarterly profits.
Analysts said the first-quarter results from Royal Bank of
Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank showed dour
predictions for sluggish revenue growth in the Canadian banking
sector have yet to take hold.
(Reuters) – Bank of Montreal’s (BMO.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) profit topped expectations for the first quarter, as lower losses for bad loans and a revenue boost from last year’s acquisition of U.S. bank Marshall & Ilsley more than offset disappointing capital markets income.
The result, which drove BMO’s shares up by 0.9 percent early on Tuesday, comes as bank executives are trying to control costs due to concerns that consumer lending will dry up and lending profit margins will narrow.
TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – When Royal Bank of Canada
created advertising for its European wealth management business
last year, it built some ads around the image of a shimmering
gold maple leaf, playing on Canada’s reputation for financial
Embarking on an aggressive expansion, Canada’s largest bank
wanted to emphasize its roots in a country whose banking sector
wins plaudits as the soundest in the world. With Europe’s debt
crisis dominating the headlines, it was a message designed to
resonate with prospective customers.
TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Many Canadians blithely
ignored warnings about record debt levels and kept borrowing
this winter and that should underpin a strong performance by the
country’s banks, with quarterly profits seen in line with
blockbuster results a year earlier.
Indeed a long-awaited slowdown in lending probably won’t
come under later this year. But just the prospect of a slowdown
should be enough to keep a lid on the sector’s shares even if
the banks report strong fiscal first-quarter results starting
TORONTO, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Fairfax Financial’s shares
dove 6 percent on Friday after the company posted steep
quarterly loss, even as CEO Prem Watsa sought to downplay the
disappointing result by saying the property and casualty insurer
focuses on long-term performance.
“We achieve these results by taking short-term pain for
long-term gain. We have always been focused on the long term,”
said Watsa, whose shrewd direction of the company’s investments
have earned him comparisons to Warren Buffet.
TORONTO, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Industrial Alliance
Insurance and Financial Services fell to a loss in the
fourth quarter and unveiled a weaker than expected earnings
forecast, sending its shares down more than 3 percent.
Canada’s No. 4 insurer said it expects 2012 earnings per
share of C$2.50 to C$3.10, a range that largely lags current
analyst estimates of C$3.07 a share, according to Thomson
TORONTO, Feb 15 (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar ended
slightly higher against the U.S. currency on Wednesday as
renewed concerns that a second Greek debt bailout will be
delayed cut into bigger gains made early in the day.
Euro zone financial officials were examining ways of
delaying parts or even all of the second bailout program for
Greece, according to EU sources, and that pulled the Canadian
currency back from its highest point in nearly a week.
TORONTO, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Weaker insurance sales and
a big writedown at its U.S. operation dropped Manulife Financial
to a loss, and rival Great-West Lifeco posted
a sharp jump in profit as Canadian insurers began reporting
quarterly financial results on Thursday.
Manulife, Canada’s top insurer, also said its 2015 C$4
billion profit objective was at risk, and announced that its
chief financial officer, Michael Bell, would step down once it
could find his replacement.
Feb 9 (Reuters) – Manulife Financial said it
fell to a loss in the fourth quarter, hurt by weaker sales and a
writedown of its U.S.-based John Hancock insurance business.
The company, Canada’s biggest life insurer and the first to
report end-of-year results, also said that its chief financial
officer, Michael Bell, would step down from his post once a
replacement can be found.