‘Sacrosanct’ dividends on the chopping block as analysts look past oil companies’ Q1 earnings

When executives from Calgary-based PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. announced their earnings on Tuesday, they were hard pressed to say what exactly the future holds for Canada’s beleaguered oil sector.

So far, the company estimated that Canadian oil companies have already cut or shut in about 10 per cent of their production as social distancing and other policies designed to contain the spread of coronavirus extinguished demand and punished oil prices.

But as far as how much more oil production cuts are coming, no one can say exactly.

“So the 10 per cent is the actual number that we’ve seen” of shut ins, said Andrew Phillips, chief executive of PrairieSky. “Twenty per cent is what we’ve been told by industry (to expect in May). My view, and this is my view only, is that it’s going to be significantly higher than that in May.”

The commentary is instructive as earnings season kicks

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Masked Hong Kong students take final school exams after coronavirus delay By Reuters

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© Reuters. Students attend to take the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exams, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Thousands of Hong Kong students were among the first in the world to take their final secondary school exams on Friday, all wearing face masks and having their temperatures checked after being stuck at home for months due to the coronavirus.

The Diploma of Secondary Education examination was given the go-ahead with a four-week delay as the number of new coronavirus cases has fallen, though social-distancing measures remain in place throughout the Chinese-ruled city.

“Although it’s relatively dangerous to start the examination for us candidates at this moment, the (exams) might have been cancelled altogether unless they were held now,” 19-year-old Emily Chui said before going into the exam hall at the Clementi Secondary School on Hong Kong island.

Hong Kong’s schools

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What to know if your small business is applying for Round 2 PPP loans from the SBA

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Small businesses are getting a second shot at receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans after the House passed an additional $310 billion in funds for the program on Thursday. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law Thursday evening.

Funds from the first $349 billion ran out in record time (just 13 days), and banks and lenders have been learning as they go how to efficiently get money out the door. Now, with the PPP replenished, lenders say they’ve been preparing to get right back to work.

The big thing they’re all waiting on is the SBA’s processing system, E-Tran, to reopen and allow them to send applications through for approval. The SBA did not immediately respond to Fortune‘s request for comment on when … Read More