Business News as of 6 p.m. ET
(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Wednesday, Nov. 28@
6 p.m. ET
BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY
Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of 6 p.m. ET. All times are Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change as news develops.
Queries should be addressed to the business desk at 416-507-2138. To reach CP Business by email, send messages to business(at)thecanadianpress.com.
TOP BUSINESS NEWS THIS HOUR
Ex-boss of SNC Lavalin arrested
MONTREAL _ The former head of Canada's biggest engineering firm, who once mused that Quebec was taking sufficient measures to fight corruption in the construction industry, was arrested Wednesday by the squad at the centre of those efforts. Pierre Duhaime, the former chief executive of SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC), was taken from his home by police in connection with alleged fraud involving one of Montreal's huge new superhospitals. PHOTO. Moves Business and National; guard against duplication
Inmet rejects takeover bid from First Quantum
TORONTO _ Copper miner Inmet Mining Corp. rejected Wednesday a hostile takeover offer from rival First Quantum Minerals Ltd. worth $4.9 billion in stock and cash.The company said its board of directors has determined the "highly conditional" offer is not in the best interest of its shareholders. However, it did not indicate the conditions of the proposal.
Imperial to invest $1.55B in Celtic
CALGARY _ Imperial Oil Ltd. is investing $1.55 billion for a 50 per cent stake in Celtic Exploration Ltd., the Calgary-based natural gas producer its U.S. parent ExxonMobil Corp. is in the process of acquiring."This acquisition will allow Imperial to diversify its strong resource base in Canada with an attractive liquids-rich natural gas play," said Bruce March, Imperial's chairman and CEO.
Harper wants to see the end of Mexican visa
OTTAWA _ The end of a much-maligned visa for Mexican travellers to Canada would be a good thing for both North American countries, Prime Minister Stephen Harper affirmed Wednesday.Harper offered his government's most conciliatory view to the visa that it imposed in 2009 to stop an influx of bogus refugee claimants. It came after his Parliament Hill meeting with Mexico's president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto. Moves Business and National
CGI swings to $170M loss in fourth quarter
MONTREAL _ CGI Group Inc. still expects that the acquisition of U.K.-based Logica will deliver a 25 to 30 per cent boost to its earnings next year as the information technology company "aggressively" pursues cost savings."After 100 days of operations we can confirm that the strategic, operational and financial fit anticipated in the transaction," CEO Michael Roach told a conference call Wednesday. PHOTO. Will be updated.
FGL Sports to buy Pro Hockey Life for $85M
CALGARY _ Canadian Tire (TSX:CTC) subsidiary FGL Sports Ltd. announced Wednesday that it plans to buy privately owned Pro Hockey Life Sporting Goods Inc. for $85 million. Pro Hockey Life has 23 urban, high-end hockey stores operating in five provinces across Canada and boasts annual revenues of about $95 million.
Mining and merger deals down: E&Y report
VANCOUVER _ The number and size of merger and takeover deals in the mining and metals sector in the first nine months of the year is down sharply compared with a year ago, a report by Ernst and Young says.Economic worries, rising costs, geopolitical risk and rising prices have all combined to put acquirers on the sidelines, according to the report released Wednesday.
RIM shares buffeted by patent setback
TORONTO _ Research In Motion was buffeted Wednesday by news that Nokia Corp. has asked courts in several countries to uphold a Swedish arbitrator's ruling that could prevent RIM from using certain patented wireless technology.The arbitrator ruled recently that RIM is in breach of the companies' agreement and should be blocked from making or selling products with WiFi communciations unless it pays royalties to Nokia for certain technology rights.
U.S. law compels banks to inform on clients
OTTAWA _ The final thrust of Canada-U.S.. tax treaty negotiations is triggering fears among bankers on this side of the border that they will be dragged into helping out on an American hunt for tax cheats _ and passing along information about Canadians to U.S. tax authorities. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has put dual U.S.-Canadian citizens on notice that they need to file U.S. tax returns _ whether or not they have paid in Canada _ or face stiff penalties. Moves Business and National.
Canadian investors make emotional decisions
TORONTO _ Two-thirds of Canadians surveyed by the Bank of Montreal are not able to keep their emotions in check when they make investment decisions and a majority have invested on impulse. The BMO Psychology of Investing Report also finds four-in-10 respondents to the Pollara poll say emotions play a role in their investment decisions.
A buyer's guide to tablets, big and small
TORONTO _ It wasn't all that long ago that if you wanted to buy a tablet there was really only one choice: Apple's iPad. For quite a while, Apple enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the tablet market. Sure, there were some other tablets to choose from, but they weren't even in the same league as the iPad.But the competition has heated up and consumers now have a dizzying array of options to consider.
ALSO IN THE NEWS
TSX moves higher on fiscal cliff hopes
TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market closed higher as the latest comments from U.S. political leaders raised hopes for an agreement to head off a fiscal crisis in the United States.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 28.7 points to 12,140.33 while the TSX Venture Exchange dipped 0.8 of a point to 1,205.37.
Loonie rises amid fiscal cliff nervousness
TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar shed early losses to close higher against the greenback Wednesday amid reassuring words about resolving a looming fiscal crisis in the United States.The currency was ahead 0.29 of a cent to 100.82 cents US. It had been negative earlier with traders inclined to avoid riskier assets in the wake of comments from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid late Tuesday that there had been "little progress" in talks aimed at avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff in the U.S. at the end of next month.
Athabasca board approves oilsands project
CALGARY _ Athabasca Oil Corp.'s board of directors has given the green light to its $536-million Hangingstone oilsands project, which the company aims to develop as part of a joint venture.The first 12,000-per-day phase of the steam-driven project is expected to start producing oil in early 2015. Athabasca (TSX:ATH) plans to follow it up with two expansions that will bring daily production up to around 80,000 barrels.
Guidelines to address fracking-caused quakes
CALGARY _ The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has issued new guidelines to address the threat of earthquakes caused by fracking, a controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale.With fracking, operators inject a combination of water, sand and chemicals into the ground under high pressure to break the rock and free the gas trapped inside.
Ontario losing status in Canada in employment
OTTAWA _ Ontario's status as the economic engine of country has been in a steady decline for the better part of a decade _ and most of the blame can be laid at the feet off the manufacturing sector _ newly-released data suggests. Also moved Ontario/Quebec regional
Reitmans Q3 profit down from year ago
MONTREAL _ Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. (TSX:RET.A) said Wednesday it earned $38,000 in its most recent quarter, down from $10.6 million a year ago, as sales were hurt by a problem in shipping products to stores.The clothing retailer said the profit amounted to break even on a per share basis for the quarter ended Oct. 27 compared with a profit of 16 cents per share a year ago.
US sales of new homes dip 0.3 per cent in October
WASHINGTON _ U.S. sales of new homes fell slightly in October and September sales were slower than initially thought. The October sales pace was dragged lower by steep declines on the East Coast, partly related to Superstorm Sandy.The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales dipped 0.3 per cent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 368,000. That's down marginally from the 369,000 pace in September, which was revised lower from an initially reported 389,000. PHOTO.
Gaz Metro sells water heater rental business
MONTREAL _ Gaz Metro is selling its electric water heater rental business to a subsidiary of Groupe Confort Inc. for $45.5 million.Gas Metro says the sale of its interest in HydroSolution through its subsidiary, Gaz Metro Plus Limited Partnership, is expected to yield a profit of $14.6 million.
Average weekly pay slips in September
OTTAWA _ Statistics Canada says average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $902.29 in September, down 0.5 per cent from August. However, it says that on a year-over-year basis, earnings were up 3.4 per cent. That reflected a number of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry as well as the average number of weekly hours worked. Moves Business and National
Travel deficit lower in Q3: StatsCan
OTTAWA _ Statistics Canada says the country's international travel deficit with the world fell by $82 million to $4.6 billion in the third quarter, as Canadians spent less in the United States and overseas visitors spent more in Canada. The agency says Canadians spent just under $9 billion outside the country in the third quarter, down 0.5 per cent from the second quarter, while receipts from foreign travellers in Canada increased 0.9 per cent to $4.3 billion. Moved Business and National
New Brunswick energy minister touts shale gas
FREDERICTON _ New Brunswick's energy minister says there is enough shale gas reserves in the province to supply its energy needs for a century. Craig Leonard delivered a statement today in the provincial legislature promoting the benefits of shale gas development. Moves Atlantic and Business, please guard against duplication; will be writethru
Inuit raise Muskrat Falls mercury concerns
ST. JOHN'S _ The proposed Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador will have major effects downstream including potential health problems from mercury contamination that will infringe Inuit rights, says the Nunatsiavut government.It cites preliminary results from samples taken by independent researchers indicating mercury from the Churchill River is already flowing into Lake Melville, a key food source for about 2,000 Inuit.
Police raid Osisko gold mine in Quebec
MONTREAL _ Police participated in a raid on a major gold mine in Quebec, seizing documents related to its drilling and blasting practices Wednesday.Provincial police moved in to grab documents at the Canadian Malartic mine, which belongs to Montreal-based Osisko Mining Corp. (TSX:OSK)
3 BP employees in court on oil spill charges
NEW ORLEANS _ A BP rig supervisor said Wednesday that he is innocent of manslaughter in the deaths of 11 workers in the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig that started the spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico."I think about the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon every day," Robert Kaluza told reporters just before his arraignment. "But I did not cause this tragedy. I am innocent and I put my trust, reputation and future in the hands of the judge and the jury." PHOTO.
Investment firm sues auditors over deal
TORONTO _ A Canadian investment firm is launching a class-action lawsuit against accounting firm Schwartz Levitsky Feldman LLP over an investment in Southern China Livestock Inc., a U.S. company with operations in China.Excalibur Special Opportunities LP invested a total of $900,000 in securities that are now worthless.
Abu Dhabi-controlled TAQA buys BP North Sea assets
LONDON _ British oil company BP is selling its interests in some North Sea oil and gas fields to TAQA, a company controlled by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, for $1 billion. The company has now negotiated sales of assets valued at about $37 billion since 2010 _ just short of its goal to raise $38 billion by next year to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster and to invest in new opportunities.
MegaFon raises $1.7 billion in Moscow, London IPO
MOSCOW _ Shares in MegaFon made a disappointing debut in a $1.7 billion initial public offering in Moscow and London Wednesday when Russia's second-largest mobile phone operator was forced to price its stock at the bottom end of its target.MegaFon, the last of Russia's big three mobile companies to hold an IPO, said on Wednesday that it had sold 15 per cent of its stock at $20 a share _ at the bottom end of its range. The flotation values the company below analyst expectations at $11.1 billion.
Costco plans special cash dividend of $7 per share
Costco plans a special dividend of $7 per share next month in addition to the regular quarterly dividend the wholesale club operator pays shareholders. The Issaquah, Wash., company said Wednesday that the special dividend will be payable Dec. 18 to shareholders of record Dec. 10. Costco Wholesale Corp.'s regular quarterly dividend of 27.5 cents per share will be paid Nov. 30 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 16.
UK firm buys Texas-based Healthpoint for $782 mln
LONDON _ British medical technology company Smith & Nephew PLC said Wednesday it is buying Texas-based Healthpoint Biotherapeutics for $782 million.Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, founded in 1992, is a privately owned company that focuses on acute, chronic and burn-related wound care.
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