North America

Brazilian iron ore miner Samarco Mineração SA filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection Monday, after initiating similar proceedings in Brazil earlier this month amid mounting creditor litigation, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Samarco needed to seek protection under chapter 15 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, as well as Brazilian insolvency laws, after bondholders and bank lenders filed lawsuits in both countries to freeze and start the process of seizing the company’s assets, according to a sworn declaration by Chief Financial Officer Cristina Morgan Cavalcanti.
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The Bank of Canada took the biggest step yet by a major economy to reduce emergency levels of monetary stimulus as it hailed a stronger-than-expected recovery from the pandemic, Bloomberg News reported. Policy makers led by Governor Tiff Macklem said Wednesday they would scale back their purchases of government debt by a quarter to C$3 billion ($2.4 billion) and accelerate the timetable for a possible interest-rate increase. The upbeat turn toward plotting a return to more normal policy has been resisted by counterparts elsewhere, including the U.S. Federal Reserve.
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Coming on the heels of a Moody’s Investors Service’s assessment of the territory’s financial outlook on the bond market and the solvency of its Government Employees’ Retirement System, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. renewed his pitch to legislators to refinance the territory’s bond debt, the Virgin Islands Daily News reported. In an analysis published Monday, the financial services firm said the recent ruling of the Third U.S.
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Exxon Mobil Corp. can move forward with a U.S. lawsuit seeking $280 million from two Cuban companies as compensation for a refinery and other assets seized from the oil giant after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution, a judge in Washington said, Bloomberg News reported. The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta keeps alive Exxon’s suit against a Cuban government-owned conglomerate, Corporacion Cimex SA, and state-run oil company Union Cuba-Petroleo, known as Cupet. Over the years, the U.S.
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Spartan Bioscience, which filed for bankruptcy protection on April 5, plans to start accepting letters of intent from prospective buyers or investors interested in restructuring the insolvent firm until May 17, The Logic reported. It will select two bids—one winning bid and one backup—from a short list of qualified bidders, with plans to have a transaction complete by the end of June. The Ontario Superior Court first has to approve the process. The Ottawa-based company is seeking protection from creditors, after spending heavily on developing a COVID-19 rapid test.
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Canadian National Railway on Tuesday offered to buy Kansas City Southern for $33.7 billion, topping a $29 billion bid put forward last month by a rival railroad operator, Canadian Pacific, the New York Times reported. The competing offers underline the riches expected to come from trade flows after the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was passed into law last year. A merger with either suitor would create a railroad line that stretches from Canada to Mexico.
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The Ontario government moved to grant independence to a medical school and a francophone university in Northern Ontario on Thursday, just days after more than 100 faculty positions and nearly 70 programs were eliminated at Laurentian University, the Globe and Mail reported. One of the universities currently involved with the medical school seemed taken by surprise, and said it was not consulted. The Progressive Conservative government introduced legislation to make the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Hearst University independent, stand-alone, degree-granting universities.
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Several U.S. banks have started deploying camera software that can analyze customer preferences, monitor workers and spot people sleeping near ATMs, even as they remain wary about possible backlash over increased surveillance, more than a dozen banking and technology sources told Reuters. Previously unreported trials at City National Bank of Florida and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as well as earlier rollouts at banks such as Wells Fargo & Co. offer a rare view into the potential U.S. financial institutions see in facial recognition and related artificial intelligence systems.
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Three-quarters of Canada’s travel agents, ITAs and travel agencies say they could face insolvency if the government doesn’t extend financial aid programs until the end of 2021, or until 90 days after travel restrictions are lifted, according to a new ACTA survey, Travel Week reported. After calling on travel agents, ITAs and travel agencies across Canada to fill out its quick 5-minute survey earlier this month, ACTA has revealed the sobering results. More than 1,000 respondents took part in the survey, including 58% who were Independent Travel Agents, 31% owners and 11% employees.
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Canadian lawmakers on Thursday urged the leaders of the United States and Canada to take further steps to resolve a dispute between Enbridge Inc. and the state of Michigan over the cross-border Line 5 oil pipeline, Reuters reported. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered Calgary-based Enbridge to shut down a 4-mile section of the 540,000 barrel-per-day pipeline that runs underneath the Straits of Mackinac in the Great Lakes by May 12, because of concerns it could leak. Enbridge is challenging Whitmer's order in U.S. courts.
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