Canada

Canada's Hut 8 Mining Corp. will merge with rival US Bitcoin Corp. to create a crypto mining giant in North America, consolidating after a steep fall in valuations for the crypto sector that saw high-profile collapses in recent months, Reuters reported. The companies said the combined entity will have a market capitalization of around $990 million, and be equally owned by shareholders of both the companies. The merged entity, to be called Hut 8 Corp, will be listed on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq after the all-stock deal.
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Canada’s economy geared down at the end of 2022, growing at about half the pace of the third quarter and setting the stage for a period of little to no growth, Bloomberg News reported. Preliminary data suggest gross domestic product was flat in December as increases in retail, utilities and the public sector were offset by decreases in the wholesale, finance and oil and gas industries, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday in Ottawa. That followed a 0.1% gain in November, which matched economist expectations in a Bloomberg survey, and a 0.1% increase in October.
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North America’s produce industry will be rocked by the bankruptcy of Lakeside Produce Inc., in Leamington, Ontario, FreshFruitPortal.com reported. The firm faces total claims of $187,889,241. Lakeside lists assets at $3,580,233. The bankruptcy was filed on Jan. 17. DRC – the Dispute Resolution Corporation - in Ottawa, on Jan. 24 shared with FreshFruitPortal.com its public records on this stunning development. There are exactly 300 creditors listed in the official papers.
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The Bank of Canada raised interest rates for an eighth consecutive and potentially final time, saying it expects to move to the sidelines and weigh the impact of its rapid tightening, Bloomberg News reported. Policymakers led by Governor Tiff Macklem increased the benchmark overnight lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.5% on Wednesday, the highest level in 15 years. Bonds rallied and the loonie dropped. While the quarter percentage point hike matched expectations of markets and economists, most analysts didn’t see the central bank explicitly declaring a potential end point.
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Canadian consumers remained resilient in December, even in the face of elevated inflation and rising interest rates, Bloomberg News reported. Receipts for retailers jumped 0.5% last month, according to an advance estimate released Friday by Statistics Canada. That follows a 0.1% drop in November, which was led by lower sales of food and beverages, as well as building material and garden supplies. The increase in December more than offsets the lower-than-expected losses in November and adds to a 1.3% gain in October, ending last year with relatively strong retail sales.
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Canada's annual inflation rate eased more than expected in December as gas prices came down but core measures remained little changed from the previous month, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday, making another interest rate hike this month likely, Reuters reported. Inflation slowed to 6.3% in December from 6.8% in November, a notch lower than the 6.4% median forecast of analysts. Prices fell 0.6% from the previous month, again showing price pressures easing more than analysts' forecast for a 0.5% decline.
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Canada’s banking industry regulator will consider limiting how much firms are able to lend to riskier homebuyers as part of a review intended to safeguard the financial system from a housing slump, Bloomberg News reported. The regulator is proposing restrictions on the volume of mortgages made available to those who are seeking to borrow amounts that are far in excess on their incomes. It’s part of a regular consultation on residential mortgage underwriting standards, which started Thursday.
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The number of Canadians filing for insolvency is approaching pre-pandemic levels, according to numbers from the federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, CBC.ca reported. Insolvency rates dropped during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Michelle Statz, a Saskatchewan-based licensed insolvency trustee with Bromwich+Smith, says that November 2022 saw the highest number of insolvencies since March 2020, the month that saw COVID-19 lockdowns and the announcement of the initial Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
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Canada posted a trade deficit of C$41 million ($30.20 million) in November as exports were dragged down by energy products, while pharmaceuticals and other consumer goods drove a decline in imports, Statistics Canada said on Thursday, Reuters reported. The deficit missed analysts' forecast of a C$610 million surplus in November. Statscan also revised October's surplus down to C$130 million from an initial C$1.21 billion. Inflation hit a four-decade high last year that prompted the Bank of Canada to raised rates at a record pace to tame prices.
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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce plans to appeal a New York judge's order that it pay about $848 million in damages to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, in a contract dispute tied to the 2008 global financial crisis, Reuters reported. In a statement on Wednesday, the Toronto-based bank said it expects to take a C$1.16 billion pre-tax charge, or about C$850 million ($629 million) after taxes, in its first-quarter results, reducing its ratio of capital to assets.
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