North America

Offshore drilling rig contractor Seadrill has asked creditors to write off more than 85% of its debts in exchange for a 99% stake in the reorganized company, a court filing showed, Reuters reported. The Oslo-listed firm controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen in February filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S., the second time it has done so in four years.
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Canada’s biggest oil sands producers are generating billions more in free cash flow in a faster-than-expected pandemic rebound, but taking a cautious approach to spending it that is disappointing environment-minded investors, Reuters reported. Their strategy to repay debts and pay shareholders has won praise from investors in Canadian Natural Resources, Suncor Energy and Cenovus Energy who are eager for higher returns. But greener shareholders warn they could divest or oppose management.
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Canada is betting on a sharp increase in immigration beginning this year as a way to boost the country’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government plans to significantly increase the number of new permanent residents it accepts over the next three years, and officials have taken steps in recent months to increase the pace of permanent resident approvals, largely by drawing on residents already in Canada on a temporary basis.
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Nomura and Credit Suisse warned on Monday they were facing big losses after a U.S. hedge fund, named by sources as Archegos Capital, defaulted on margin calls, putting investors on edge about who else had been caught out, Reuters reported. Losses at Archegos Capital Management, run by former Tiger Asia manager Bill Hwang, had triggered a fire sale of stocks on Friday. Nomura said it faced a possible $2 billion loss due to transactions with a U.S.
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Grupo Televisa SAB is in talks to join forces with Univision Communications Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that could more formally unite the Spanish-language media giants after a long partnership, Bloomberg News reported. With discussions at an early stage, no final decision has been made and talks could fall through. The two sides are still discussing the structure of a potential transaction and which parts of the businesses could merge.
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Ontario plans to sell more short-term debt in the year ahead to keep borrowing costs in check amid a spike in long-term yields, Bloomberg News reported. The Canadian province, which is the world’s largest sub-sovereign government borrower, plans to increase short-term debt by C$6 billion ($4.8 billion) in the fiscal year starting April 1. That’s six times its net issuance in the current fiscal year, according to budget documents released on Wednesday.
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The Bank of Canada provided the greatest guidance yet into how it plans to slow purchases of government bonds as the economic recovery accelerates, fueling expectations it could begin doing so as soon as April, Bloomberg News reported. In a speech on Tuesday, Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle said that the central bank is winding down emergency liquidity programs it deployed to grease markets when the coronavirus hit last year, including programs to buy provincial and corporate debt.
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Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd agreed on Sunday to acquire Kansas City Southern in a $25 billion cash-and-stock deal to create the first railway spanning the United States, Mexico and Canada, standing to benefit from a pick-up in trade, Reuters reported. It would be the largest ever combination of North American railways by transaction value. It comes amid a recovery in supply chains that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and follows the ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) last year that removed the threat of trade tensions that had escalated under former U.S.
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Canada’s Just Energy said on Tuesday it had applied to voluntarily delist its shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange after the electricity and gas provider filed for bankruptcy last week, Reuters reported. On March 9, the company filed for creditor protection in Canada and said it planned to do the same in the United States due to massive costs from the Texas deep freeze. It became the second Texas electricity company to take that step in the face of extraordinary electricity charges during the cold snap.
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Rogers Communications Inc. said on Monday it was buying Shaw Communications Inc for about C$20 billion ($16.02 billion) in a deal that would create Canada’s second-largest cellular and cable operator but might attract stiff regulatory scrutiny, Reuters reported. By acquiring fourth-ranked Shaw, Rogers would leapfrog Telus Corp. and take on market leader BCE Inc in the highly competitive Canadian telecommunications industry.
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