Connect with us

Business

Canada pauses imports from Malaysia glove maker Supermax over forced labour concerns

Published

on

November 14, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Canada has paused imports from Malaysian glove maker Supermax Corp as it awaits the results of an audit, weeks after the United States barred the firm over allegations the company uses forced labour.

Malaysian factories making everything from medical gloves to palm oil have increasingly come under scrutiny over allegations they abuse foreign workers, who form a significant part of the manufacturing workforce.

After the United States suspended Supermax imports last month, Canada’s Public Services and Procurement department said on Wednesday it was holding Supermax deliveries as it awaits a report expected mid-month from Supermax Healthcare Canada.

Advertisement

“In light of the current situation, Canada has engaged with the company to seek assurances that Supermax Corp is not engaging in forced labour practices,” the department said in a statement.

Supermax did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a “Withhold Release Order” on Oct 21 that prohibits imports from Supermax based on reasonable information that indicates the use of forced labour in its manufacturing operations.

Supermax has said it was in contact with the U.S. agency to obtain more clarity and that it had commissioned an independent consulting firm to conduct an audit into the status of foreign workers at its factories.

Canada said it will determine its next steps after reviewing the report from Supermax’s Canadian unit.

Advertisement

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that it does not do business with companies that employ unethical practices, either directly or within their supply chains,” it added.

(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by William Mallard)

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Business

Delta flight from South Africa to Atlanta diverted to Boston for “technical specifications”

Published

on

November 28, 2021

(Reuters) -Delta Air Lines said a flight from South Africa to the United States was temporarily diverted from Atlanta to Boston on Sunday for technical reasons.

Flight 201, an Airbus A350, from Johannesburg was initially set to arrive at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday but was instead routed to Boston’s Logan International Airport, Delta said.

The diversion “has to do with technical specifications of our A350 aircraft and the payload of this particular flight,” the company said in an email.

Advertisement

“This can happen on ultra-long-haul flights when optimal operating conditions can’t be met,” it said.

The Federal Aviation Administration told Reuters it would investigate the situation.

The flight, which was initially scheduled to land in Atlanta at 8:15 EST (1215 GMT), was rescheduled to land at in Boston at 9:27 a.m. before departing for Atlanta at 10:40 a.m., it said.

The company did not cite the newly discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has been detected in South Africa, as a reason for the temporary diversion.

More than a dozen passengers on a flight from Johannesburg to Schiphol that landed Friday tested positive https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/dutch-set-announce-findings-omicron-cases-among-safrica-travellers-2021-11-28 for the new variant, Dutch authorities said on Sunday.

Advertisement

(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons and Mark Porter)

Continue Reading

Business

Chip shortage to cost Daimler Truck billions in revenues – Automobilwoche

Published

on

November 28, 2021

BERLIN (Reuters) – Daimler Truck Chief Martin Daum expects the global chip shortage to hit revenues by several billion euros this year and sees the problem continuing into next year, Automobilwoche reported on Sunday.

The world’s largest commercial vehicle maker, to be spun off from Daimler on Dec. 10, has outlined cost-cutting measure aimed at boosting profit margins as it struggles with chip shortages hurting the entire sector.

Daum said there would be a significant financial hit.

Advertisement

“It is a huge sum,” Daum told Automobilwoche, saying the company would sell a “mid five-digit number” fewer vehicles than it could have.

With an average price of 100,000 euros ($113,170) per vehicle, this means several billion euros in lost revenues, reported Automobilwoche.

“We also have many vehicles sitting in the factory where just one part is missing. These deliveries are a priority because they are already sold,” said Daum.

He also told Automobilwoche that supply problems are likely to continue in 2022.

($1 = 0.8836 euros)

Advertisement

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Louise Heavens)

Continue Reading

Business

It’s raining dividends, hallelujah! Canadian banks set to post strong results

Published

on

November 28, 2021

By Nichola Saminather

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s top six banks are expected to resume raising dividends and share buybacks after nearly a two-year hiatus and report strong quarterly earnings this week, which could boost the sector’s appeal to yield-hungry investors even as stocks trade close to all-time highs.

The market will also be looking for clues on the banks’ expected expense growth into next year as wage pressures intensify, and long-awaited improvements in net interest margins as interest rates rise.

Advertisement

The “big six” Canadian banks – Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank of Canada – on average have a dividend yield of 3.3%, according to Reuters calculations.

That compares with the global sector median of 2.5%, according to Refinitiv data.

The dividend increases, which would be the first since the country’s financial regulator imposed a moratorium in March 2020 that was lifted earlier this month, could range from 10% for Scotiabank at the lower end to 34% at National Bank, Gabriel Dechaine, an analyst at National Bank Financial, wrote in a Nov. 22 note describing the coming hikes as a “dividend growth tsunami.”

The banks are also expected to announce repurchases of about 2% of their outstanding shares on average.

“It’s going to be a significant (dividend) increase, and will help them reduce excess capital on their balance sheets,” said Steve Belisle, portfolio manager at Manulife Investment Management. “That flows through to better ROE (return on equity).”

Advertisement

Even without the higher dividends or buybacks, Canadian bank shares have rallied to record highs, driven in part by better-than-expected earnings due to the release of reserves set aside to cover loan losses that haven’t materialized.

LOAN GROWTH ACCELERATION

The Canadian banks will be reporting their fourth-quarter earnings, with Scotiabank kicking off the results on Tuesday.

Analysts expect adjusted earnings for the top six lenders to jump about 37% from the year-earlier period, helped by a pick-up in business and credit card lending, strong mortgage growth and continued reserve releases.

An acceleration in loan growth is expected, as savings built up during the COVID-19 pandemic have lifted consumers’ and businesses’ purchasing power even at higher prices, with the broader economic recovery adding fuel to the fire, said Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at IG Wealth Management.

Advertisement

The one blot on the horizon may come in the form of non-interest expenses. They could be 1% higher than in the third quarter, with much of the anticipated rise driven by variable compensation, and up 4% in fiscal 2022 on rising labor costs and continued investments in technology, CIBC Capital Markets analysts wrote in a note.

Earnings from capital markets earnings could also decline, although higher-than-expected trading revenues could help offset lower investment banking fees, some analysts said.

Profits are expected to be 6.6% lower than in the third quarter, largely due to releases of reserves, which are difficult to estimate and have driven better-than-expected results in past periods, and could again lead to positive surprises, analysts said.

The banks’ improving revenue growth, strong capital positions and expectations for returns on equity to remain in the mid-teens for longer than expected are positives, National Bank’s Dechaine said.

Wealth and asset management units are also likely to have seen further growth, as consumers continued to deploy cash piles they’ve amassed during the pandemic, Petursson said.

Advertisement

“It’s really hard to see where the warts would be on the banks’ earnings,” he added.

(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Denny Thomas and Paul Simao)

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending