North America

Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, Toshiba Corp's nuclear services business, has made an agreement with its creditors that will clear the company's path out of bankruptcy, according to three people familiar with the matter. The deal will divvy up cash from the $4.6 billion proposed sale of Westinghouse to Brookfield Business Partners, an affiliate of Canada's Brookfield Asset Management, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.
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That 2017 suffered from more than its fair share of natural catastrophes was known at the time. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the streets of Houston, Texas, were submerged under brown floodwater; Hurricane Irma razed buildings to the ground on some Caribbean islands. That the destruction was great enough for insurance losses to reach record levels has only just been confirmed. According to figures released on January 4th by Munich Re, a reinsurer, global, inflation-adjusted insured catastrophe losses reached an all-time high of $135bn in 2017, The Economist reported.
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Owners of unsecured bonds in rig firm Seadrill have posted a cash deposit to back an alternative financial restructuring, paving the way for talks with the drilling operator over its future, the two sides said on Monday. Seadrill, once the largest drilling rig operator by market value, filed for bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court on Sept. 12 after being hit hard by cutbacks in oil company investment following a steep drop in crude prices, Reuters reported.
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The Canadian government is increasingly reluctant to insure mortgages against default, Bloomberg News reported. That may end up giving new life to a nascent bond market in the nation. For decades, most home loans made in Canada were made by the biggest banks and guaranteed by the government’s housing agency. In late 2016, regulators tightened the requirements for qualifying for that insurance, resulting in more people doing without it: about three-quarters of the mortgages made by federally regulated banks last year didn’t have government backing.
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Dutch tidal turbines developer Tocardo International BV has filed for insolvency the same day it became official that Canada’s Tribute Resources Inc will not buy out the company, Renewables Now reported. Tocardo has secured a deferral of payment to creditors. A creditors meeting will be held on March 27, 2018. In early August 2017, Canadian energy company Tribute Resources unveiled its intention to buy the 53.5% stake it does not already own in Tocardo and focus on tidal and marine power development. The plan included changing Tribute’s name to Tocardo Energy Inc following the combination.
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Deal making by Mexican companies declined for the second year in a row in 2017 on concerns about the future of free trade with the U.S. and uncertainty related to next year’s presidential elections, the Wall Street Journal reported. Mergers and acquisitions involving Mexican companies and assets totaled $23.7 billion in dollar terms, a decrease of 5 percent from 2016, according to data compiled by Dealogic. There were 230 transactions in 2017, compared with 241 the year before. “The main reason is the significant uncertainty related to the economy and free trade.
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Economic output in Canada unexpectedly stalled in October—due to a decline in the energy sector—likely curbing expectations of a rate increase from the Bank of Canada in January, the Wall Street Journal reported. The level of Canada’s gross domestic product--the broadest measure of goods and services produced in an economy--was unchanged in October from the previous month at 1.75 trillion Canadian dollars ($1.37 trillion) on a seasonally-adjusted basis, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
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China Construction America Inc. was accused in a lawsuit of ripping off the original developer of the long-delayed $3.9 billion Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas by submitting fraudulent bills and collecting undeserved fees, Bloomberg News reported. BML Properties Ltd., led by wealthy Bahamas businessman Sarkis Izmirlian, sued CCA Tuesday claiming the state-owned Chinese contractor pulled off a “massive fraud” to enrich itself at BML’s expense, leading to the collapse of the project in 2015.
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Central bankers are starting to see promising results from one of the recent additions to their monetary policy toolbox, Bloomberg News reported. Lending curbs to stem financial risk -- so-called macroprudential limits -- have helped slow risky borrowing and temper property price bubbles in countries from New Zealand to Canada, a host of financial stability reports showed this week. While there hasn’t been uniform success -- Hong Kong’s housing market shows no signs of cooling -- it’s given central banks some breathing space to be more gradual in tightening monetary policy.
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Crystallex International Corp. and Venezuela agreed to settle a $1.2 billion dispute over the 2011 nationalization of a gold deposit in the South American nation, Bloomberg News reported. Ontario Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey in Toronto approved the settlement on Friday after it was announced two days earlier through filings in Canada. Parts of the agreement remain sealed, including the amount to be paid.
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