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Andrew Bell

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Join us on BNN today as we help guide investors through tricky shoals.

PEN PALS

Canada is making its case for trade in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute. In a letter to the U.S. commerce secretary, Ottawa is seeking a wide range of exemptions on the duties the U.S. imposed on Canadian lumber exports last month.

Meanwhile, Alberta has hired Gary Doer, Canada's former ambassador to the U.S., as a provincial envoy on the softwood file. And, Canada's Minister of International Trade is in Washington today to promote Canadian-U.S.trade

HOME CAPITAL REBOUND

Shares in mortgage lender Home Capital (HCG.TO) surged more than 15 per cent yesterday. The company - which has seen outflows from its high-interest deposit accounts after the Ontario Securities Commission faulted disclosure to investors – added blue-chip directors including former Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan CEO Claude Lamoureux and former OMERS CEO Paul Haggis. Investors have generally stayed in the company’s guaranteed investment certificates but Paul Taylor, top asset allocator at BMO Global Asset Management, told us “the fact that short-term funds are evaporating as quickly as they have is a cause for meaningful concern.”  


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Market Call guest Ross Healy said that he reckoned the company’s stock represents a decent, albeit speculative buy, because its underlying loan portfolio is solid.  

Ross Healy - Top Picks

Ross Healy of Strategic Analysis Corp shares his top picks: Eastman Chemical, MetLife and Home Capital.

And Pattie Lovett-Reid, CTV’s chief financial commentator, supplied a primer on risks and guarantees for investors who have money at Home Capital.

The lender said this morning that it's raising funds with a deal in which "an independent third party" may buy as much as $1 billion in qualifying uninsured mortgages and $500 million in insured loans. But chair Brenda Eprile also said "we are tightening our lending criteria and reducing some of our broker incentive programs and expect that will result in a decline in our originations and renewals."

And Home Capital warned that it plans "a greater focus in the near term on originating mortgages to sell, rather than holding them on balance sheet and funding through deposits... the company anticipates that this will result in lower overall mortgage balances, increased costs and reduced levels of profitability in the near term."

VALEANT EARNS
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) are surging in the premarket after the drugmaker boosted its full-year forecast and updated investors on its debt-reduction plans.

The company says it cut 1.3 billion dollars of debt in Q1, and has reduced its debt load by 3.6 billion since this time last year.

OPEN TEXT MISS

Shareholders in Open Text (OTEX.TO) will hear from CEO Mark Barrenechea at 9:30 a.m. ET after the seller of data-wrangling software posted fiscal Q4 results that Raymond James calls “soft.” It says revenue of $593-million trailed the $604-million consensus but stuck with an Outperform rating, citing the company’s “loyal, large customer base.”

PUBLIC SPEAKING

Segment producer Adena Ali has lined up an intriguing theme for 12:40 p.m. ET: The exodus of companies from the public stock market, which has seen the number of corporate listings on the Toronto Stock Exchange decline 30 per cent in a decade. U.S. listings have fallen by nearly half over 20 years. We’ll hear from Bryce Tingle, associate law professor at the University of Calgary, who says crushing regulation and fickle investors have “made the public markets a very unpleasant place to be.”

STRATEGY SESSION

Finally, On Commodities at 11:10 a.m. ET, we’ll take an extended tour of the energy market with Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

She reckons that even though investors are skeptical OPEC will succeed in tightening the market, “an unprecedented level of barrels continue to move from oversupplied regions like the Atlantic to Asia… we continue to see a slow but steady improvement in global fundamentals and suggest that dips [in oil] are to be bought.”

Every morning Commodities host Andrew Bell writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnn.ca/subscribe.