By Staff | May 5, 2010 | Last updated on May 5, 2010
3 min read
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While Europe struggles with sovereign debt problems and the U.S. faces monster debts of its own, there is growing confidence in the emerging markets that global trade will improve, according to the latest HSBC Trade Confidence Index.

The survey of more than 5,100 trade-oriented small and mid-market companies, asked their opinion on a variety of trade related topics, and calculated a score between 0 and 200, with 200 representing the highest confidence levels.

While Canadian firms were largely neutral — with a national score of 109 — the real optimists are in the United Arab Emirates, India and Vietnam, with scores of 134, 133 and 132, respectively.

“The strengthening of confidence from these global respondents over the last year, despite slow economic progress in the West and the recent crisis in the Middle East, is proof of the significance of trade,” said Bill Nowicki, executive vice-president, head of trade and supply chain, HSBC North America. “Canadian companies have a positive outlook, however, are still cautious compared to other countries, as they steer themselves through the choppy waters of economic recovery.”

On a global basis, just over half of traders (56%) were bullish in their outlook on trade volumes, but the greatest optimism was in the emerging markets. Confidence was greater in Latin America (64%), Middle East (63%), Greater China (63%) and India (61%).

“Importers and exporters in Asia, particularly in India and South-East Asia, are the most confident about securing the financing they anticipate they will need to support new orders,” Nowicki said. “With the recovery in full gear in Asia, constraints on liquidity and funding have become less of an issue. In Canada, 23% expect their ability to access trade financing to increase, while the majority, 66% of respondents, expect to maintain their current access to trade finance.”

For more on emerging markets, read the special report, Emerging Markets: Full steam ahead.

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Canadians need better financial literacy: IIAC

The current retirement income system works for most Canadians, but could benefit from additional enhancement, according to the Investment Industry Association of Canada’s submission to the Department of Finance.

At the root of any existing problem is that Canadians need better financial education to enable them to make decisions that affect their retirement plans, according to IIAC president and CEO Ian Russell.

“The national Task Force on Financial Literacy created by the federal government is an important first step on the road to a more financially literate population in Canada,” Russell said. “The securities industry looks forward to participating in initiatives suggested by the Task Force.”

The government should also reform the contribution limits on RRSPs and TFSAs, in order “to help alleviate the inequality between Canadians who save in RRSPs and those who have access to defined-benefit pensions.”

Once in retirement, Canadians should be allowed to withdraw their savings at their own pace, the IIAC says, and the government should eliminate mandatory withdrawal rates on RRIFs.

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BMO appoints Montreal VP

BMO Bank of Montreal has appointed of Alan Desnoyers as vice-president for Downtown Montreal. He will lead a team of 320 professionals serving customers through BMO’s 23 branches in downtown Montreal.

“Throughout his career, Alan has demonstrated a commitment and passion to customer service and sales while leading his teams to superior performance,” said François Hudon, senior vice-president, Quebec division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “He joins a BMO executive leadership team in Quebec that is focused on ensuring that our employees offer our clients an exceptional banking experience and personalized financial solutions during each branch visit or conversation.”

Desnoyers is a Wharton graduate and has nearly 25 years experience in the financial services industry. He has held senior management and leadership roles in commercial and retail banking, including as senior vice-president, and was also a senior business consultant, demonstrating his entrepreneurial qualities and strategic vision on behalf of his clients.

(05/05/10) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.