The head office of SNC Lavalin are seen Thursday, February 19, 2015 in Montreal. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Trudeau election win boosts SNC-Lavalin shares amid hopes around criminal case

Liberal win left open the possibility of a plea deal on fraud and corruption charges

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. shares shot up Tuesday after the Liberal election win left open the possibility of a plea deal on fraud and corruption charges facing the engineering firm.

The beleaguered company saw shares climb 13 per cent or $2.24 to $19.92 in early-afternoon trading, buoyed by investor hopes that the Liberal refusal to close the door on a deferred prosecution agreement will play out to SNC’s advantage ahead of a criminal trial.

Prof. Karl Moore of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management says the return of a Liberal government to Ottawa, albeit a minority, is “good” for SNC-Lavalin.

Analyst Chris Murray of Altacorp Capital says a resurgent Bloc Quebecois, which more than tripled its seat count to 32, could fan hopes the new Parliament might work to help the Montreal-based multinational.

Attorney General David Lametti has refused to shut down the possibility of a remediation agreement with SNC. The company has seen its market value fall by roughly 60 per cent since January amid a political scandal in Ottawa, and faces an upcoming trial on charges of fraud under the Criminal Code and bribery under anti-corruption legislation.

SNC-Lavalin declined to discuss the government’s intentions or comment on the ongoing court case.

The Canadian Press

READ MORE: SNC-Lavalin slashes profit forecast amid shift away from oil and construction

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