Canadian companies feeling the pinch as coronavirus takes toll on their business prospects


Canadian companies are starting to feel the pinch of the coronavirus epidemic as they call off trips and watch their stock value slide.

The S&P/TSX composite index in Canada had its worst trading day in nearly four months on Monday, dropping more than 100 points before inching up Tuesday morning.

Imax Corp., based in Mississauga, Ont., says it postponed the release of five films after China’s more than 60,000 movie theatres shut down, including the company’s more than 600 locations.

Air Canada, which offers direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Canada’s three biggest cities as well as to the airport at Wuhan through a partner — the epicentre of the virus — has seen its stock to fall about 10 per cent in the past week. The Montreal-based carrier is allowing passengers to rebook flights to the Chinese cities free of charge.

Sectors from retail to insurance, mining and manufacturing are bracing for impact, as companies such as Canada Goose Holdings Inc., Sun Life Financial, Teck Resources Ltd., and Magna International Inc. — which has nearly 19,000 employees in China — put travel plans on hold or instruct staff to work from home.

Chinese officials have reported the coronavirus has killed at least 106 people and infected more than 2,750 others. The illness has spread to at least a dozen other countries in Europe and North America including two cases in Toronto.

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