North America

Inflation is too high in Canada, so the Bank of Canada needs to increase interest rates to slow spending and give the economy time to catch up, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Monday in a video posted by the central bank on Twitter, Reuters reported. "Inflation is too high," Macklem said in a video tagged #AskTheBoC, echoing remarks made earlier this month after the central bank hiked its policy rate by 75-basis points to 3.25%.
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Suncor Energy Inc. is pushing ahead with a bond buyback as oil prices near this year’s lows amid recession worries, Bloomberg News reported. Calgary-based Suncor plans to buy up to C$1.75 billion ($1.27 billion) of securities from 10 series of outstanding notes in US and Canadian dollars, the company said in a statement Monday. Cenovus Energy Inc., another large Canadian oil company, did a similar offer earlier this month.
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Laurentian University expects to ask for creditor protection to be extended to Nov. 30 at an upcoming hearing, according to court documents filed on Friday, Sudbury.com reported. The “stay of proceedings” protecting the insolvent university from its creditors currently expires Sept. 30. Laurentian University has been undergoing court-supervised restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (or CCAA) since declaring insolvency in February 2021.
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International bondholders are considering taking legal action in Mexico to recoup losses from troubled non-bank lender Credito Real, four sources have told Reuters, after bank creditors secured a settlement earlier this month, Reuters reported. Credito Real bonds have lost about 99% of their value since the company defaulted on a 170 million Swiss franc ($175.98 million) bond in February, kicking off a commercial liquidation process criticized by shareholders for lacking transparency.
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Inflation in Canada remains "too high" but is headed in the right direction, a Bank of Canada official said on Tuesday, adding that the central bank will do whatever is needed to bring price increases back to target, Reuters reported. Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry, speaking to university students in Waterloo, Ontario, said while some have suggested a recession might be needed to tame climbing prices, the central bank believed it could lower the risk of a hard landing by clearly communicating its intentions. "In August, inflation stood at 7%.
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Canada's annual inflation rate eased more than expected in August even as food prices rose at their fastest pace in 41 years, data showed on Tuesday, with economists saying now smaller rate hikes may be best, Reuters reported. The country's annual inflation rate slowed to 7.0% in August, below analyst forecasts of 7.3% and down from 7.6% in July. The deceleration was largely due to lower gasoline prices and slower gains in the shelter index, Statistics Canada said. On the month, the consumer price index fell 0.3%, the largest decline since early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced C$4.5 billion ($3.43 billion) in measures on Tuesday intended to provide relief from high inflation to low-income families, Reuters reported. The measures include doubling a quarterly tax credit sent to individuals and families with low and modest incomes to offset sales tax, and a C$500, onetime top-up to a housing benefit that is provided to low earners who need help with rent, Trudeau said. Trudeau's Liberal government will also provide up to C$650 per year for dental care to children under 12 who do not have access to dental insurance.
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The United States on Wednesday announced that it would transfer $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets into a new Swiss-based trust fund that will be shielded from the Taliban and used to help stabilize Afghanistan's collapsed economy, Reuters reported. The Afghan Fund, managed by a board of trustees, could pay for critical imports like electricity, cover debt payments to international financial institutions, protecting Afghanistan's eligibility for development aid, and fund the printing of new currency.
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Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles on Friday approved a $700 million financing package for SAS AB from Apollo Global Management, though he said features of the deal concern him, Bloomberg News reported. The financing, divided into two $350 million draws, will allow Apollo to convert the debt into stock in the bankrupt airline or participate in an equity raise tied to SAS’s eventual exit from chapter 11 protection under certain circumstances. Judge Wiles called the financing “unusual” and questioned whether it was legally viable.
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to unveil measures to provide inflation relief to low-income families, a government source said, confirming reports in domestic media, Reuters reported. Inflation eased to 7.6% in July from an almost four-decade high of 8.1%. But the Bank of Canada is still concerned about rising prices and is promising further interest rate hikes after increasing them to their highest level in 14 years on Wednesday.
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