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Signage for Home Trust Co., a subsidiary of Home Capital Group Inc., stands outside the company's headquarters in Toronto, on May 4, 2017.

Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Our roundup of Canadian small-caps of between $100-million and $2.5-billion in market capitalization making news and on the move today.

Deposits are steadily returning to Home Capital Group Inc. (HGC-T) as the troubled mortgage lender recovers from a crisis of confidence.

Late Monday, the company provided its first liquidity update since the end of June. At that time, it was enjoying a renewed surge of faith from depositors after securing an investment worth up to $400-million from revered U.S. investor Warren Buffett, through his firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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In the two weeks since, to July 14, Home Capital attracted $125-million in net new deposits, the vast majority of them to guaranteed investment certificates, or GICs, with a fixed term.

The high water mark of the so-called Buffett bounce may have passed, as Home Capital said in a statement that it "has seen deposit inflows return to historical averages." Deposit totals have become a key barometer of Home Capital's health as well as broader confidence in the alternative lending space, after the firm endured a rare run on the bank earlier this year. But the latest figures show the lender is on firmer footing after months of woes, with overall levels of liquidity moving in the right direction.

Home Capital still faces a range of challenges as it tries to originate new mortgages and chart a path back to growth. Board chair Brenda Eprile reaffirmed last week that the balance of the year will "be tough from a profitability point of view." The company will report its second-quarter earnings on Aug. 2.

--James Bradshaw

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Hardwoods Distribution Inc. (HWD-T) says it's buying Downes & Reader Hardwood Co. Inc. through its Rugby Holdings LLC subsidiary for $6-million (U.S.). D&R is a distributor of hardwood lumber with four locations in the northeastern U.S.

"The U.S. Northeast is an attractive market with a population base of over 40 million people and we're thrilled to have D&R, a highly respected hardwood lumber distributor in the region, join our team," said Hardwoods CEO Rob Brown.

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He said the acquisition provides it with "turnkey access to a comprehensive lumber products offering" and "a significant number of new customers and is immediately accretive to shareholders."

The purchase price was financed by a draw on the company's existing U.S. credit facility.

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Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc. (GS-T) estimates that performance fees earned during the quarter ended June 30 were $3.9-million compared to about $1-million for the same period a year earlier.

It said estimated Assets Under Management (AUM) as at June 30 were $8.9-billion, approximately 86 per cent from of which comprises high-net-worth individuals. AUM increased by $13-million from March 31.

"This increase in AUM is attributable to positive net investment performance of $94-million partially offset by net withdrawals of $81-million," the company stated. "High-net-worth clients had net withdrawals of $63-million while institutional clients had net withdrawals of $18-million."

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Platinum Group Metals (PTM-T) reported a third-quarter loss of $227.9-million (U.S.) or $1.37 per share compared to earnings of $892,000 or a penny per share for the same quarter a year earlier.

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Timbercreek Financial Corp. (TF-T) appointed Cameron Goodnough as CEO, effective Jan. 1. He's currently president of Timbercreek Financial.

Mr. Goodnough will succeed Andrew Jones, who will retire from his position as the CEO effective Dec. 31, the company said.

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Dream Global REIT (DRG.UN-T) says it's buying a portfolio of 135 office and light industrial properties located in the Netherlands for about $903-million.

It said the transaction will expand its geographic presence in Europe and establish "a sizeable new real estate platform for the REIT with an experienced management team."

The purchase price will be paid using cash and units of the REIT.

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Ballard Power Systems (BLDP-Q; BLDP-T) says it has received an order from SunLine Transit Agency for five of its fuel cell engines to power clean energy buses in Palm Desert, Calif.

The 150-kilowatt engines are expected to be shipped in 2017.

Ballard said it's partnering with ElDorado National, a system integrator and major supplier of electric drive systems, to deliver buses to SunLine.

The transit agency received funding from the Federal Transit Administration to purchase and deploy five hydrogen electric fuel cell buses.

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About the Author
Contributor

Brenda Bouw is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver. She has more than 20 years of experience as a business reporter, including at The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, the Financial Post and was executive producer at BNN (formerly ROBTv). Brenda was also part of the Globe and Mail reporting team that won the 2010 National Newspaper Award for business journalism. More

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