North America

U.S. cannabis retailer Green Growth Brands Ltd. is planning to launch a hostile takeover bid for Aphria Inc. that values the Canadian marijuana producer at almost C$2.8 billion ($2.1 billion), Bloomberg News reported. Columbus, Ohio-based Green Growth plans to offer C$11 per share in an all-stock bid for Aphria, according to a statement Thursday. That’s a 46 percent premium over Aphria’s closing price on Monday.

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Tougher rules for new borrowers, rising mortgage rates and new taxes for home buyers have been put in place by Canadian regulators in recent years to tame some of the most overheated housing markets in the developed world. But they have also shut prospective homeowners out of the market, the Wall Street Journal reported. That has slowed sales in cities like Toronto and Vancouver in recent months, prompting some to call for Canada to loosen the restrictions lest they brake the economy too much.

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While 2018 was the year trade wars broke out, 2019 will be the year the global economy feels the pain, Bloomberg News reported. Bloomberg’s Global Trade Tracker is softening amid a fading rush to front-load export orders ahead of threatened tariffs. And volumes are tipped to slow further even as the U.S. and China seek to resolve their trade spat, with companies warning of ongoing disruption. Already there are casualties. GoPro Inc.
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People who make a living guiding others through bankruptcy in Canada say they’ve never been busier, Bloomberg News reported. Record debt burdens, rising borrowing costs and, in some cases, bigger payday loans are driving many Canadians to seek relief, according to several licensed insolvency trustees who spoke to Bloomberg. They say November was their busiest on record, and December -- typically a slow time of year in the insolvency trade -- hasn’t let up.

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Canada’s government is trying to minimize the economic and political fallout from depressed western Canadian crude oil prices, and its latest bid is a financial package for the country’s struggling energy sector, the Wall Street Journal reported. A package of financing and incentives totaling 1.6 billion Canadian dollars ($1.20 billion) emerges at a time of deep discontent in western Canada, from political leaders and residents, over the federal government’s failure to get new pipeline infrastructure built.

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Miniso Canada says it has reached a preliminary agreement with Miniso Guangzhou LLC in a case that has threatened to force the Chinese discount retailer's Canadian operations into bankruptcy, the Canadian Press reported. In a statement posted to its Instagram page on Monday evening, Miniso Canada said the two parties are currently in the process of settling their business issues and finalizing details on the agreement. Miniso Canada's remarks stemmed from a Dec.

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The Mexican government, labor and business sectors agreed Monday to raise the minimum wage by 16.2% in 2019, a third consecutive year of double-digit increases aimed at restoring the purchasing power of the country’s lowest earners, the Wall Street Journal reported. The minimum wage will rise to 102.68 pesos ($5.10) a day from 88.36 pesos on Jan. 1, while along the northern border with the U.S. the minimum daily wage will double to 176.72 pesos ($8.80), said Labor Minister Luisa María Alcalde.
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Holders of about half of the $6bn in debt issued to finance a Mexico City airport project that is now destined to be scrapped rejected the government’s enhanced proposal on Wednesday, saying it was better, but still nowhere near good enough, the Financial Times reported.

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The Mexico City Airport Trust – the financial backer of a new Mexico City airport project that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to scrap– has boosted the terms of its bond buy-back offer to try to woo the approximately 50 per cent of bondholders who rejected the initial deal, the Financial Times reported. The new deal offers to buy back $1.8bn of the $6bn in bonds as before.

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Venezuela is facing the possible unraveling of a pair of billion-dollar settlements aimed at protecting the cash-strapped country’s U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum Corp from seizure by creditors. A lawyer for Canadian mining company Crystallex International Corp said on Tuesday Venezuela had breached the $1.4 billion November agreement that resolved a long-running fight over an expropriated gold mine. Separately, Venezuela’s $1.3 billion settlement in October with Rusoro Mining of Vancouver, also over expropriated mining assets, has been upended by U.S.

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