Guillaume Ouellet Leblanc is Director of the Financial Institutions Division in the Financial Stability Department. In this role, he leads a team responsible for assessing the vulnerabilities and risks in the Canadian financial system, with a focus on banks, credit unions, life insurance companies, and certain non-regulated lenders. Another important function of the division is to conduct macro stress testing of major banks in Canada in collaboration with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.
Guillaume has extensive knowledge of the banking sector, asset management industry and capital markets. Prior to his current role, he held various positions in the Financial Markets, Financial Stability and Funds Management and Banking departments. He holds a M.A. in Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and the PRM designation.
Staff analytical notes
We assess the response of Government of Canada bond yields to the Bank of Canada’s initial announcement of the Government Bond Purchase Program (GBPP) as well as to the Bank’s later GBPP purchase operations.
The TSX index rose by 9.5 percent in November 2020, adding large gains to an already sharp V-shaped recovery. The economic outlook improved at that time as well. We ask whether the stock market gains since last autumn are due to improving forecasts of firms’ earnings.
We show that a small number of authorized participants (APs) actively create and redeem shares of US-listed fixed-income exchange-traded funds (FI-ETFs). In 2019, three APs performed 82 percent of gross creations and redemptions of FI-ETF shares. In contrast, the group of active APs for equity ETFs was much more diverse.
Between February 19 and March 23, 2020, the Canadian stock market plunged due to the severe economic impact of COVID-19. By the end of the summer, the stock market had already recovered a significant portion of its losses, leaving many asking if investors see the economy through rose-coloured glasses. Despite these concerns, we find that current market valuations for companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange align well, on average, with the declines in earning forecasts observed since the start of the year. We also find these market valuations are consistent with the discount rate returning to its pre-pandemic level.
The liquidity management strategies of fund managers, supported by policy measures, have helped bond funds limit the increase in redemptions caused by COVID 19. This avoided further deterioration in liquidity in bond markets. Nevertheless, these funds were left with lower cash buffers, which could make them more vulnerable to additional large redemptions.
Bond dealers have traditionally kept bonds in an inventory until clients buy them. But now, dealers have another way to access bonds for their clients: the exchange-traded fund. We discuss this new way to manage bond dealing and what it might mean for bond markets.
The creation and redemption activity of fixed-income exchange-traded funds listed in the United States has shifted. Funds of established issuers have traditionally exchanged their shares for baskets of bonds. In contrast, young funds managed by new issuers tend to create and redeem their shares almost exclusively in cash. Cash transactions imply that new funds are taking on exposure to liquidity risk. This has implications for financial stability.
Lending to business is central to economic growth because it supports investment by firms. Knowing how market participants view risk in the financial system can give the Bank of Canada information about future growth in business loans. In this note, we look at three market-based risk measures and find that sudden increases in the perception of risk in the Canadian banking system are associated with a weaker outlook for business loans and real gross domestic product.
We introduce a new proxy for measuring corporate bond liquidity, using the price of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that hold corporate bonds. It measures the average liquidity across 900 corporate bonds every day, many more than other proxies used in previous Bank of Canada analysis. The new proxy nonetheless paints a very similar picture of liquidity conditions and confirms the previous findings: the liquidity of bonds has generally improved since 2010.
We create a hypothetical scenario to study the role bond funds play in intensifying shocks to the financial system. Using data from 2018 and 2007, we find that bond funds play a larger role now than they did in the past.
This report provides a detailed technical description of a stress test model for investment funds called Ceto.