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BMO Report: Never a Better Time for High-Tech Sector to Carry the Torch

  • BMO's Technology & Innovation Banking Group continues to be well positioned to provide support in this fast evolving sector

TORONTO , June 19, 2020 /CNW/ - There has never been a better time for the high-tech sector to thrive and lead the innovation economy, as the effects of COVID-19 are anticipated to weigh down other sectors, according to a new report from BMO Economics.

"One of the fastest growing sectors of the Canadian economy is about to get a booster shot, as more shopping and work moves online," said Sal Guatieri , Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Though still relatively small, the sector is growing rapidly and can only benefit from acceleration in online shopping and remote working, activities that rely on efficient, high-speed digital technology".

"The sector is a beacon of light in a very cloudy economic outlook," concluded Mr. Guatieri.

The report notes that few sectors have grown faster than Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). Led by a number of high-flying homegrown companies (such as Shopify) and a rapid expansion of U.S. technology giants north of the border, the sector has consistently outperformed the national economy in recent years. "Even as the economy decelerated in 2018 and 2019, the sector strengthened to a near 5% pace," stated Mr. Guatieri. "While real GDP contracted 8.2% annualized in the first quarter of this year, the ICT sector slipped just 0.4%."

ICT accounted for 4.8% of Canadian GDP in 2019, up from 4.2% in 2007. ICT has also been a stable source of jobs for Canadians, with employment in computer systems design and related services expanding 7.5% on average between 2014 and 2019.

In support of this quickly growing sector, BMO introduced a Technology & Innovation Banking Group. This specialized group provides advice and funding to companies at every stage of their lifecycle – from start-up to post exit or IPO – across North America . In a little over a year since launching, the group has financed a number of high growth companies in both Canada and the United States. 

"We're focused on finding ways to help drive the innovation economy forward and support companies to compete here in Canada and on a global scale," said Andre Salvi , Head, Technology & Innovation Banking Group, BMO Bank of Montreal . "Our continued ability to do this comes down to understanding the unique needs of the companies operating in this space."

" Canada has an opportunity to be a leading innovation economy, and we continue to view it as a vital sector," said David Wismer , Global Head of Technology Investment Banking, BMO Capital Markets. "The support our team provides in helping companies access capital markets on a North American basis will continue to allow them to pursue their strategic objectives and achieve their growth potential."

The report, included in BMO Economics' weekly Focus publication, can be downloaded at economics.bmo.com.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider - the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $987 billion as of April 30, 2020, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group


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