North America

Mexico’s central bank opted to cut its key lending rate by a quarter-point to 7.75 per cent, rather than the half point move that some analysts said it had room for, after the economy contracted in July by more than had been expected, the Financial Times reported. Thursday’s decision was not unanimous however, as two of the five board members pushed for a half-point cut. Banxico’s second cut in a row is a bid to revive the moribund economy as inflation has tamed and the peso is stable against the dollar.

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Tuesday was a day to forget for Prem Watsa, often referred to as Canada’s Warren Buffett. His Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. lost more than C$160 million ($121 million) just in his top five listed Canadian investments, according to the latest filings compiled by Bloomberg. BlackBerry’s abysmal fiscal second-quarter earnings, which saw one of its staunchest bulls join the bear camp, was the prime offender, Bloomberg News reported. The stock fell 23% on Tuesday and extended declines Wednesday to the lowest in six years. To add to the pressure, Fairfax owns BlackBerry convertible debentures.

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CO2 Solutions Inc. ("CO2 Solutions" or the "'Corporation") announced today that it has filed a notice of intention to make a proposal (the "Notice") pursuant to the provisions of Part III of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada), Yahoo! Finance reported. Pursuant to the Notice, Ernst and Young Inc. ("E&Y") has been appointed as trustee and will assist CO2 Solutions in its restructuring efforts.

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Avaya Holdings Corp. is considering a bid from rival Mitel Networks that could create a telecommunications equipment vendor worth more than $5 billion including debt, people with knowledge of the matter said, Bloomberg News reported. The shares surged. Closely held Mitel submitted an offer for Avaya that it believes would value the combined business at more than $20 per share, according to the people. The companies have held on-and-off discussions about a potential deal since April, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

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The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, one of the world’s largest retirement funds, plans to start a credit arm in India, seizing on a moment when the country’s troubled financial system is starved of capital, the Financial Times reported. CPPIB is putting together a credit strategy for India, international investment head Alain Carrier told the Financial Times, which could see the C$392bn ($297bn) fund build on its Indian real estate and infrastructure investments by partnering with non-bank providers to offer debt or enter the market directly.  “This is something we’ve had a ver

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Costa Rica’s legislative assembly on Monday approved the placement of up to $1.5 billion in bonds in coming months as the Central American country struggles to reduce its mounting debt burden, Reuters reported. Over the past 10 years, public debt in Costa Rica has doubled and now stands at about 53 percent of gross domestic product. The first tranche of the dollar bond debt issue will be placed in international markets from August, said Rocio Aguilar, Costa Rica’s finance minister. The government will have a year to complete the bond issue.

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Canadian aerospace company Bombardier has announced the sale of its regional jet program to Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. for $550 million, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. The company is seeking to exit the commercial plane market and focus on business jets and its large rail segment. Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said Tuesday the sale signifies the completion of the transformation of its aerospace business.

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Barbados’ prime minister is butting heads with creditors over how to cut one of the world’s largest sovereign debt loads, creating a sticking point in the year-long negotiations to restructure the Caribbean nation’s defaulted dollar bonds, Bloomberg News reported. Talks with foreign creditors have dragged on since last June, when Prime Minister Mia Mottley said she would restructure the island’s “unsustainably high” debt burden. While both sides said they are open to continued negotiation, they appear far from consensus.

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Latin America is on the verge of suffering another lost decade. The region, still struggling to cope with the end of the commodities boom, has expanded only 0.7% a year on average during the past few years, Bloomberg News reported. That’s hardly enough to keep up with population growth, meaning that people are poorer today than they were in 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. Now its biggest economies -- Brazil, Mexico and Argentina -- have contracted simultaneously for the second time in just over three years, causing yet another headache for policy makers.

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Seadrill Ltd. plunged to the lowest since it emerged from bankruptcy less than year ago after Carnegie Investment Bank AB recommended selling the shares and slashed the price target by 88% amid mounting recovery concerns, Bloomberg News reported. The offshore rig market recovery is “not happening fast enough” for Seadrill, Carnegie said in a note to clients on Monday. The investment bank cut its recommendation from a buy and lowered the target price to 25 kroner from 210 kroner.

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