Five things you should know before starting your work day on May 10
Good morning, everyone! Shari Kulha here once again taking a look at some of the top business stories weвЂ™re following today.В
Free land, reduced fees, quick approval times and tax incentives to create affordably priced housing options in Vancouver and Toronto are being offered by Creative Housing Society (run by TorontoвЂ™s former chief city planner Jennifer Keesmat). The non-profit aimsВ to build units for those with median income of up to $100,000, allowing them to spend less than 30% of their income on housing.
EverybodyвЂ™s raising. Homebuyers with less than a 20% down payment wanting an insured mortgage must now qualify at the Bank of CanadaвЂ™s new, higher qualifying mortgage rateВ of 5.34%, up fromВ 5.14%. Buyers who donвЂ™t need mortgage insurance must qualify at a rate that is the greater of the central bankвЂ™s five-year benchmark rate or two percentage points higher than a lenderвЂ™s contractual mortgage rate.
Two analysts downgraded WestJetвЂ™s stock following disappointing first-quarter results. A strike vote by pilots is expected to pass this week, Alicja Siekierska reports, with a walkout possible as early as May 19. TheВ analysts are skeptical of the airlineвЂ™s plan to launch an ultra-low-cost carrier while going after international markets, with the labour situation as it is. вЂњвЂ¦ the WestJet story now requires near flawless execution, which we view as a high hurdle for any company,вЂќ one wrote.В
RioCan beat analyst estimates for its first quarter, but вЂњretail apocalypseвЂќ fears still weigh on the stock. But the REIT said its occupancy rates are around historic highs, David Dias reports, withВ the funds from operations metric, up 6.1%, benefitting from tight markets in major cities.В Revenue was flat; net income fell 16.6%.В
HE SAID, HE SAID
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and economist Jack Mintz face off on how competitive Canada is for investors. Morneau says 600,000 jobs were created in two years, and that business investment grew 8% in 2017 вЂ” the fastest rate in five years. He added that theВ Bank of CanadaвЂ™s Business Outlook Survey shows that capital investment intentions are near their highest levels since 2001. Mintz argues we have low productivity and innovation rates and low private investment rates.В The tax burden here now weighs 10% heavier on new investments than it does in the U.S., he says, creating a competitive disadvantage.