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Articles related to "financial-post"


‘Sitting on a detailed proposal’: Ceci reveals Scotiabank interest in Alberta’s ATB Financial

  • CALGARY – Bank of Nova Scotia previously offered to buy, and may still be interested in, Alberta’s provincially owned ATB Financial, finance minister Joe Ceci said Thursday.
  • Ceci, whose NDP government has called an election for next month, said in a news release aimed at United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney that Scotiabank is interested in purchasing ATB Financial from the Alberta government.
  • In an interview, Ceci said that when he was appointed finance minister in Rachel Notley’s NDP government he turned down a “detailed proposal” submitted by Scotiabank to purchase ATB, which provides small business loans in the province and operates a network of banking branches, offering personal banking and business banking accounts.
  • The person said that previous governments at various times had considered privatizing ATB Financial, which was founded in the Depression of the 1930s and has grown into one of the province’s largest Crown corporations, but had decided it was an important asset for maintaining capital availability in the province’s business sector.

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Electric vehicle rebate could slam the brakes on sales until Ottawa nails down the details

  • In Tuesday’s federal budget, the government announced “a new federal purchase incentive of up to $5,000 for electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $45,000,” but said details of the program would follow.
  • Those details, however, are important, and John Zhang, an analyst who follows electric vehicles at research firm IDC Canada, said buyers will likely hold off buying any electric cars in Canada until the government offers more specifics.
  • The only electric vehicle actually manufactured in Canada, the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid, will definitely be excluded from the program, because the base price for the cheapest model is $51,995, and it is a plug-in hybrid so will likely not qualify on the “zero-emissions” basis as well.
  • Zhang said the $45,000 threshold would likely push consumers away from higher-priced cars and towards cheaper options.

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Rate cut seen on horizon as Canadian bonds due in more than a decade yield less than cash

  • Investors in Canada’s debt market are becoming more convinced that the next interest-rate move from the country’s central bank will be down, with bonds due in more than a decade now yielding less than cash.
  • An investor has to be willing to lend for around 14 years in order to get more than the 1.75 per cent rate that the Bank of Canada currently has as its overnight benchmark.
  • Local yields have fallen in recent weeks, spurred lower by weakening economic data, a more downbeat assessment from the Bank of Canada and a global rally in bonds.
  • Wednesday’s dovish shift by the U.S. central bank and the market’s more downbeat view on prospect’s for Canada’s southern neighbour added momentum in sovereign bonds and also provide further support for the idea that policy makers in Ottawa will need to cut rates.

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Persistent deficits and higher spending raising Canada’s economic ‘vulnerability’: Fitch

  • The Liberal government’s preference for continued deficits and increasing program spending “could increase the vulnerability of public finances to a faster economic slowdown or sudden shock,” according to Fitch Ratings.
  • While the credit agency concedes that increased spending and projected deficits in Canada’s latest budget remain consistent with a falling federal debt burden, the forecast assumes the economy will avoid a recession.
  • A raft of new spending items in the federal budget aims to stimulate an economy that’s lost momentum, with some analysts suggesting a recession may be around the corner.
  • The election year budget was offered under a backdrop of disappointing growth over the last several months, according to CIBC Capital Market analysts Avery Shenfeld and Andrew Grantham.

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Everything you need to know about the budget’s new stock options rules

  • If the price of the shares has increased to $70 at the time that Sarah chooses to exercise her options, $1,920,000 {($70 – $50) X 96,000)} of the employee stock option benefit will be included in Sarah’s income and taxed at ordinary rates without being eligible for the stock option deduction.
  • Since the FMV of the underlying shares at the time of grant ($50 × 3,000 = $150,000) is within the proposed $200,000 cap, all of Isaac’s stock option benefits associated with these options will continue to receive preferential tax treatment when exercised.
  • If the price of the startup shares doubles to $2 at the time that Jake exercises the options, his stock option benefit of $300,000 {($2 – $1) × 300,000} will continue to receive preferential tax treatment so he will be taxed on 50 per cent of the stock option benefit at his marginal rate.

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Toronto housing has become magnet for money launderers, with $28 billion in real estate bought by anonymous owners: study

  • Toronto’s housing market has become a target for money laundering or “snow washing,” thanks to anonymous property ownership, weak regulation and lax enforcement, according to a new study.
  • Since 2008, $28.4 billion worth of housing was acquired in the Toronto region largely through private entities where owners can remain anonymous, according to a report released Thursday by Transparency International Canada, Canadians for Tax Fairness and Publish What You Pay Canada.
  • In that period, $9.8 billion of housing was bought by companies through cash purchases, largely bypassing anti-money laundering checks on fund sources and beneficial owners, according to the study, which analyzed more than 1.4 million residential sales dating back to 2008.
  • The report argues that more measures should be implemented to shed light on the extent of anonymous ownership in the market, which includes requiring disclosure of beneficial owners of real estate as a prerequisite for any properties transfers.

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These are some of the CEOs who may face higher taxes on future options thanks to the federal budget

  • Top brass at Canadian companies may see some of their wealth chipped away, thanks to stock-option changes in the latest federal budget.
  • Canada is reining in a tax break on employee stock options by introducing a cap that it expects will impact executives of major, established companies.
  • Creel is American and hasn’t benefitted from Canadian stock-option tax advantages, a representative for CP said in an email.
  • The company also said it released its latest proxy on Wednesday, listing Creel’s options at $2.5 million.
  • The government plans to release more details on the tax measures before the summer, according to budget documents published Tuesday.
  • The stock option benefits “disproportionately accrue to a very small number of high-income individuals,” according to the budget.
  • Canada had 2,330 people with total income above $1 million who claimed stock option deductions in 2017, and the average claim was $577,000, the government said.

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Trudeau’s new housing measures could end up crushing sales in an already depressed market

  • New measures for first-time home buyers could keep Canada’s housing market at cooler levels until autumn, according to a report by Royal Bank of Canada.
  • Canada’s most recent federal budget included help for first-time home buyers that would see the country’s housing agency take as much as a 10 per cent stake in newly built homes, or up to 5 per cent in an existing one.
  • Home sales across the country have been dismal in recent months, falling 9.1 per cent in February to the lowest level since 2012, and the slowdown is widespread across Canadian cities.
  • But even if sales are damped throughout the spring and summer selling season, Hogue expects a rebound just prior to the federal election, when Canadians begin to access the new measures, which will be administered by the federal housing agency.

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Markets have recovered, and then some — but a lot could still go very wrong

  • Investors were taking shelter, cringing over fears of a global economic slowdown, rising interest rates and flattening yield curves, plummeting commodity prices and a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
  • Certainly, the Fed’s move Wednesday to remove further 2019 rate hikes from its projections — down from two in December — will paste a veneer of permanence over the market smoothness.
  • Even if there is a deal, the wounds the trade war has opened, and the underlying technological conflict between the U.S. and China, could well be an irritant to the global economy for years to come.
  • It’s worth noting that the BoAML survey is often considered a contrarian indicator — and with global fund managers putting money on the sidelines, it will be taken by some investors as a screaming signal to bet on equities.

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There’s no ‘conspiracy’ in Ontario pharmacies — just flawed regulations that aren’t helping patients

  • Since the government fixes generic drug prices throughout Canada, manufacturers, unable to compete on price, will sometimes use rebates or allowances as incentives for a pharmacy to offer their products to customers, although such rebates were restricted by the Ontario government in 2010.
  • But The Fifth Estate’s contention was that the practice is nefarious and, worse, that pharmaceutical companies and retailers in Ontario had figured out a workaround, by providing “marketing fees” and other forms of support to pharmacies that CBC says are just rebates in disguise.
  • Generic drug prices in Ontario are consistent with those in other provinces where such rebates are legal, and where your local pharmacist doesn’t have to worry about hidden cameras and wiretaps whenever someone walks through the door.
  • So, if the restriction on rebates doesn’t serve any constructive policy purpose and actually works to unduly disparage a whole community of health-care providers, perhaps we should ask ourselves where the real problem lies.

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