Friday, May. 24, 2013 7:09PM EDT
Hold off on the celebrations over National Bank’s strong profit.
Though the bank posted second-quarter results that included an earnings beat, a dividend hike and the announcement of share buybacks, investors may want to wait before popping the cork.
“While the Montreal-based bank’s earnings could likely be the strongest reported in the second quarter …we expect memories to be short-lived and any gains will likely be given up as slower summer activity and housing concerns once again weigh on the market’s assessment of the bank’s outlook,” John Aiken, analyst at Barclays Capital, wrote in an note.More »
Friday, May. 24, 2013 7:02PM EDT
Boyd Erman and Rita Trichur
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.’s cash-sucking Allstream division has sometimes been derided as a poison pill, a reason for one of the bigger telecommunications companies not to buy MTS. That all changed Friday, with MTS agreeing to sell Allstream.
“With MTS a pure telecom after the transaction, we feel the odds of a takeout of MTS have risen,” RBC Dominion Securities analyst Andrew Calder wrote in a note. “We see two natural buyers in Telus and BCE.”More »
Friday, May. 24, 2013 1:43PM EDT
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.’s deal to unload its underperforming Allstream division after years of trying is a triumph of the art of making the best of a bad situation.
The asset was shopworn, having been on the block for years. The expected price was steadily dropping. First there was talk of $1-billion. Then $500-million. Then $300-million. Meantime, the Allstream division was sucking up cash and making investors wonder if MTS could sustain its dividend. In this space, I once argued that MTS should just give the division away if that is what it would take to get past the Allstream issue. Any price would be a good one.More »
Friday, May. 24, 2013 5:00AM EDT
Battles in the boardroom caused by activists are on the rise in Canada, but as large investors and shareholders become better prepared for these contests, proxy advisory firms are still highly influential in deciding these fights.
That may be different than in the U.S., where the influence of these advisory groups is decreasing, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. The article notes that companies more often approach important investors ahead of major votes, and large investors are more likely to have their own research and analysis teams in place.More »
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 4:14PM EDT
Bay Street may lament the lack of merger activity, but a few signs point to busier days ahead in the global deals market.
Private equity funds have been raising money briskly: globally, they raised $67.2-billion (U.S.) in the first quarter, according to Prequin. Five of the 10 largest funds to close were buyout funds – and there’s more to come, says Bruce Myers, managing director of Cambridge Associates, a Boston-based investment advisory firm.More »
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 2:54PM EDT
Tough times in the securities business? For shareholders of Toronto-Dominion Bank, not so much, as the bank’s results signal that firms that have the ability to do more than finance miners and handle mergers can still bring in a lot of cash.
For employees, it may be a bit of a different story. Even as TD’s revenue in the securities business rose, the bank cut expenses.More »
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 2:08PM EDT
The oil industry’s complaints of excessive red tape regarding mergers appear to have struck a chord in Ottawa.
The Competition Bureau has relaxed reporting requirements for mergers involving the exploration and production, known as ‘upstream’, sector. No longer will deal makers have the headache of filing detailed information about who operates and uses oil field gear such as batteries, compressor stations and gathering pipelines when the bureau vets upstream transactions, according to Rujuta Patel, a lawyer in Norton Rose’s Calgary office specializing in business law and global resources.More »
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 11:38AM EDT
What’s a bank to do these days, when even the bank chiefs admit that their flagship Canadian retail divisions face headwinds?
If you’re Toronto-Dominion Bank, you rely on your sizable U.S. operation, complete with 1,310 branches.
Yet TD hasn’t always been able to do that. Even though the bank shelled out big bucks to buy Banknorth and Commerce Bancorp, the rewards haven’t been very handsome – at least not yet. Last year, the U.S. personal and commercial division brought home a profit of $1.1-billion, while the Canadian counterpart made $3.3-billion.More »
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 10:14AM EDT
When Canada implemented new dark pool rules last fall, the expectation was that they would improve the trading experience. But a new study suggests that market quality hasn’t improved, yet hidden trading costs have climbed.
For those who don’t know much about dark pools, they allow trades to be executed away from the spotlight of the regular ‘lit markets’. In other words, they allow trades to happen in secret and get reported after the fact.More »
Thursday, May. 23, 2013 5:00AM EDT
Bay Street has been suffering through a drought of big mergers and acquisitions that some say shows few signs of ending any time soon.
While smaller “strategic” deals – like Telus Corp.’s recent $380-million acquisition of Mobilicity – are still happening, blockbuster multibillion-dollar mergers are completely on hold, Bay Street deal makers say.More »
Wednesday, May. 22, 2013 5:55PM EDT
Global companies might have put the financial crisis behind them, but one risk-management executive says they are facing more risks than ever.
Gregory Case, chief executive officer of London-based Aon PLC, says many companies are under-prepared for such pressing concerns as cyber-threats, terrorism, social media, and global warming.More »
Wednesday, May. 22, 2013 10:34AM EDT
If you’re a miner, you probably don’t want to sell shares in a weak commodity market.
And you definitely don’t want to issue new stock when your shares are in deep slump.
Yet Detour Gold eschewed both rules late Tuesday, raising $153-million by selling new shares in order to fund the development of its Detour Lake project.More »
Wednesday, May. 22, 2013 5:00AM EDT
So much for relying on the Big Six to boost your RRSP.
Since the start of the year, the S&P/TSX bank index is up just 3 per cent, leaving investors who rely on these institutions for returns incredibly underwhelmed. The S&P 500, by contrast, has soared 17 per cent.
What gives? Apparently investors are being prudent and pricing in an eventual lending slowdown. Quarter after quarter the banks have surprised with solid profits, but it looks like investors assume the fundamentals will ultimately catch up with the Big Six.More »
Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 6:45PM EDT
While mutual funds and exchange-traded funds often compete for the same retail investor dollars in Canada, leaders from both sides of the fence can agree on one point: investors need to be better educated on fees.
How the industry communicates with investors could be improved, according to Noel Archard, head of BlackRock Canada, and Eric Bushell, chief investment officer of CI Investments. The two spoke at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit in Toronto on Tuesday.More »
Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 3:47PM EDT
The largest pension fund manager in the country is increasingly looking for strong businesses to invest in, rather than relying on opportunistic bets on certain asset classes, says Michael Sabia, chief executive officer of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
“Real performance is going to come from being highly selective in the types of assets you invest in,” Mr. Sabia said at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit in Toronto on Tuesday.More »
Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 12:54PM EDT
Come 2014, the titans of Canada’s financial sector will have to welcome a slew of new names to the family.
After years of stability during which there was little turnover at the top of the country’s biggest financial institutions and regulators, suddenly there is a flurry of change that will put new faces at their helms.More »
Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 10:41AM EDT
Editor's note: This post has been updated to include Mr. Jacobson's remarks.
Current U.S. ambassador to Canada David Jacobson will join Bank of Montreal as vice-chairman once he returns to the U.S.
Mr. Jacobson is originally from the mid-west, where BMO is growing its U.S. operations following its acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation in 2010, and he will work out of Chicago.More »
Tuesday, May. 21, 2013 5:00AM EDT
CARRIE TAIT, JEFFREY JONES
ConocoPhillips Co. is pulling back on plans to sell its Canadian oil sands assets after it exceeded its target for raising capital by divesting energy properties elsewhere in the world.
The oil and gas major had been looking to find buyers or partners for 50 per cent of its mostly undeveloped oil sands holdings as part of its quest to pocket between $8-billion (U.S.) and $10-billion by selling assets around the world. The Houston-based company has exceeded this amount, allowing it to relax its plans in Alberta.More »
Monday, May. 20, 2013 6:37PM EDT
For Sun Life Financial Inc.’s Kevin Strain, competing in Asia is like trying to get on the subway at rush hour in Tokyo or Hong Kong, where “pushers” pack people onto the trains. If you don’t move with the crowd, you’ll be left behind.
The insurance business is growing so rapidly that “if you miss the mark, you become subscale and you’re fighting to get back in, and it’s going to be almost impossible,” Mr. Strain, president of the insurer’s business in Asia, said in an interview. “If you sit back in Asia, you’re going to get lost.”More »
Friday, May. 17, 2013 4:10PM EDT
There are some new appointments to report at two of Canada’s largest banks, with Bank of Montreal bulking up the foreign exchange group in its capital markets business and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce naming new senior money managers at its investment unit.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s Global Asset Management unit named Suzann Pennington chief investment officer, and Stephen Carlin senior portfolio manager for Canadian equities.More »
Friday, May. 17, 2013 12:13PM EDT
In both Canada and the U.S. the tech sector showed strength in the early part of 2013, and a number of new issues came to market south of the border. Now, a bellwether is stepping out on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Halogen Software Inc. hits the TSX this morning under the trading symbol HGN. “At this point in time we thought it was a great opportunity to go to the markets and raise additional capital,” said Halogen’s chief executive Paul Loucks.More »
Friday, May. 17, 2013 11:02AM EDT
National Bank Financial has hired a new managing director for its Vancouver office.
Dan Barnholden is joining the investment dealer from Cormark Securities to cover mining and metals in Vancouver. At the moment Mr. Barnholden is based in Toronto, but will move west in the coming months.
Mr. Barnholden fills the hole created when former managing director Dan Wilton left to focus on mining at private equity player Pacific Road Group.More »
Friday, May. 17, 2013 9:39AM EDT
Telus Corp.’s deal for Mobilicity is a free option on a small but valuable chunk of Canada’s airwaves.
Key among the deal’s terms is the lack of a break fee in the $380-million acquisition transaction. Often in a deal with significant risk of failure, there is a fee payable from one side to the other if the deal is blocked to compensate for the loss of the transaction. However, even though there is a solid chance the government blocks this deal, there is no payment.More »
Friday, May. 17, 2013 5:00AM EDT
The comments are in, and the majority are in favour of crowdfunding.
Earlier this year the Ontario Securities Commission put out a request for public comment on the merits of allowing companies to raise equity through crowdfunding. One hundred letters were ultimately sent in and law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP has very handily combed through them. The verdict: Most people support the proposal.More »
Thursday, May. 16, 2013 4:10PM EDT
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is taking a page from private equity giants by creating an internal team that can work with companies it invests in to improve their returns.
Launched a year ago, the small team is part of CPPIB’s private investment operation and has a mandate to parachute in to companies – particularly firms recently acquired by CPPIB in private equity deals – when needed to help develop a growth plan.More »
Thursday, May. 16, 2013 1:00PM EDT
Home Capital Group is edging closer to deciding whether it will convert its operations from being a trust to being a bank. But one this is certain: it won’t be calling itself “Home Bank.”
Chief executive Gerald Soloway joked about naming the company after a Canadian bank that collapsed in 1923 (after making a series of bad loans) at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Toronto on Wednesday. “We didn’t think that was a good name to build on. It’s still available, but that was not our first choice,” Mr. Soloway told the crowd, chuckling. “And then there are numerous Home Banks in the United States.”More »
Thursday, May. 16, 2013 11:13AM EDT
With mega U.S. takeovers roaring back to life, you’d think that there would be a big shift in the private equity world.
For the past few years infrastructure has been the hot spot for this market, attracting major private equity players like Canadian pension funds. But lately more and more private companies – think Dell – have become leveraged buyout targets, increasing the number of investment opportunities for buyout funds.More »
Thursday, May. 16, 2013 5:00AM EDT
The global body responsible for derivatives oversight has started the process of redefining the rules for credit default swaps.
The swaps are like a form of insurance against corporate debt. Typically, fixed-income investors buy them so that they will be reimbursed should a bond issuer go bankrupt. They can also be used by investors to bet again a company’s – or a country’s – financial health.More »
Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 8:00PM EDT
Canadian banks have put a major focus on their wealth management businesses in recent years, and Bank of Nova Scotia sees expansion in emerging economies as one of the biggest growth opportunities for the sector.
The bank is looking to increase its footprint in South America and Asia, where the growing ranks of the middle class find themselves with more wealth to manage. Companies such as Scotiabank see an increasing demand for services such as pensions and retirement planning in these countries.More »
Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 3:45PM EDT
Can’t-miss stories from the Web
Red faces at Bloomberg
After it was revealed that Bloomberg journalists had been snooping on the company’s Wall Street clients, several private equity firms are now pushing hard to find out if any M&A data was leaked, and whether it may have affected any deals.
Jamie and Lloyd, foul weather friends
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, no stranger to scrutiny, appears to be a strong shoulder for JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon to lean on while JPMorgan shareholders consider a non-binding vote to strip him of his chairmanship.
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Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial
Jacqueline Nelson is a financial services reporter at the Report on Business.
Grant Robertson is an award-winning journalist who has been recognized for investigative journalism, business reporting and profile writing. He joined the Globe and Mail in 2005, after five years as a business writer at the Calgary Herald.
Joanna Slater is the Globe's New York Bureau Chief. Prior to joining the Globe in 2010, she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where her assignments included reporting on the financial crisis out of New York and covering South Asian business and politics from Mumbai.
Follow Joanna on Twitter @jslaternyc