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  • Pierre Fournier

Prof. Fournier Press Review: Sept 6 – Sept 10

Agenda: Enbridge, Euro Zone & inflation, GM, Moment Factory, IKEA, British retail stores, Revenu Québec, Innergex, Toyota, Market Review.

Photo: REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Enbridge and the Line 3 pipeline. Enbridge has warned oil shippers that its pipeline “Line 3” will be able to accommodate their product as early as October, signalling full commissioning of the new pipeline, reports Reuters. The line has transported oil from the Hardisty Alberta terminal to the US state of Wisconsin since the 1960s. According to Enbridge data, 620,000 barrels could be transported daily - almost all of the new pipeline capacity.

Increase in inflation for the Eurozone. The rise in consumer prices rose more than expected in Europe during the last month. According to Les Echos, the Euro area's annual inflation rate was 3.0%, up from 2.2% in July. This increase is largely explained by the rise in the price of fuel: + 15.4% in August, compared to 14.3% in July. We must also remember that oil prices fell sharply a year ago because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Economists also cite other reasons such as the rise in commodity prices, which impacted the prices of goods, and the increase in prices in the tourism sector.

Reduction in production for GM given the shortage of microchips. General Motors has announced that it plans to cut production for the majority of its factories in North America in September due to the lack of microchips, reports Reuters. The largest automaker in the United States plans to shut down production next week in its factories located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Silao, Mexico, where pickup trucks are assembled. Overall, GM reduced production to eight assembly plants in September. CAMI's plant in Ingersoll, Ontario - which notably builds Chevrolet Equinoxes - is among the eight plants.

Contract in New York for Moment Factory. This week celebrates yet another great international achievement for the Quebec company Moment Factory. Indeed, following contracts for the Super Bowl and the Tokyo Olympics, the company is currently working on a project at a New York airport. According to Journal de Montréal, the purpose of the contract is to improve and change travellers’ experience at the New Liberty Airport, one of three airports located in New Jersey. Interestingly, Moment Factory has carried out a similar project at the Los Angeles Airport.

Supply issues for several companies such as IKEA in UK and Ireland. According to BBC, Brexit and Covid issues are causing product shortages for IKEA. Other industries suffer from similar problems. Notably, companies specializing in flu vaccine suppliers to food and beverage companies have also suffered from supply problems. Ikea said its 22 stores in the UK and Ireland have been experiencing supply issues with 10% of its inventory, around 1,000 product lines. The government has offered its cooperation to companies to help them solve this supply problem.

The impact of the pandemic on British retail stores. The influence of the pandemic and the change in consumption habits continue to have a significant impact on many city centers, BBC news reports. In fact, during the first 6 months of 2021, nearly 9,000 chain stores had to close their doors in High Streets, British shopping centers. That number of stores remains low compared to the previous year as government intervention helped many retail businesses weather the storm and survive the pandemic.

It will be January 10 for the return to the office for the employees of Revenu Québec. According to Radio-Canada, the government of Quebec had initially announced the date of October 4 for the return to the office of the employees. But faced with the increase in COVID-19 cases since the start of the fourth wave, Revenu Québec has announced that its employees will return to the office on January 10 instead. This decision was well received and was qualified as responsible by the committee represented by the employees. In addition, it is important to mention that employees have maintained all services for a year and a half from the date on which the confinement was announced.

American acquisition for Innergex. Longueuil-based Innergex Renewable Energy has announced financing of $251 million to finance an American acquisition in partnership with Hydro-Quebec. Hydro-Québec already has a 19.9% interest in Innergex. According to the Innergex press release, at the end of August, Innergex and Hydro-Quebec announced a 50/50 acquisition of the Curtis Palmer portfolio of hydroelectric assets in New York State. The total amount of the acquisition is US $ 310 million.

Significant investment for Toyota in the electric vehicle segment. According to Reuters, the world automobile leader Toyota has announced its intention to invest 1.5 trillion yen (11.5 billion euros) by 2030 in the development of new batteries. The objective of this investment is to strengthen Toyota in the electric vehicle segment. The Japanese giant has mentioned that it plans to develop its vehicles and batteries in an integrated manner, as the company is aiming for a 50% drop in production costs per vehicle by 2030. Last April, Toyota announced that it intended to launch 15 models with electric batteries by 2025.

Wall Street ends the week down. The New York Stock Exchange closed lower on Friday as investors worried about stagnant high inflation, which is bad for the market, CNBC reports. The Toronto Stock Exchange also ended the week lower as growing concerns about the global economy and the advance of the delta variant were factors that negatively influenced the market.


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