TORONTO, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Even if Canadian life insurers
live up to expectations by posting strong third-quarter results
this week, investors ought to think twice before piling into
their shares given the uncertain outlook for financial markets.
With debt crises in Europe and the United States pressuring
stocks and threatening another severe market downturn, analysts
say one or more of the insurers could cut profit targets when
they start reporting results on Wednesday.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Call it the Homer Simpson approach to business growth: when the pie is shrinking, eat a bigger piece.
Canada’s big banks have been doing just that. Facing slower growth in the mortgage market and an unofficial government ban on buying one another, the five biggest lenders have been ravenously snapping up any other financial assets that have become available. It’s a trend that looks set to continue.
Oct 31 (Reuters) – Bank of Nova Scotia has
appointed Brian Porter to the role of president, Canada’s No. 3
bank said on Wednesday, a move that suggests he will eventually
succeed longtime Chief Executive Rick Waugh.
Porter, 54, who joined the Toronto-based bank in 1981, is
currently group head of its strategically important
international banking division, which has operations in about 50
countries through Latin America and Asia.
NEW YORK/TORONTO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors
Service warned on Friday it could cut its ratings on five top
Canadian banks on concerns about a softening economy and
volatile capital markets, a blow to a banking system named the
soundest in the world four years in a row.
But the outlook for the sector is no longer as rosy, Moody’s
said, because of the risks presented by the macroeconomic
environment and a business mix that leans heavily on domestic
mortgages and other consumer lending.
TORONTO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Prem Watsa, investment guru and
chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holding Ltd, said
on Friday the time is not right to undo Fairfax’s equity hedges
even as the insurance company loses money due to recent strong
Watsa, who made billions for Fairfax by correctly calling
the 2008 financial crisis, fully hedged the company’s equity
exposure in 2010 in anticipation of a prolonged market funk.
His strategy has led to choppy quarterly results for Fairfax as
markets have fluctuated.
TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian database that allows mortgage lenders to appraise a property quickly before writing a loan may have overvalued homes in the country’s sizzling housing markets and could raise the risk of a devastating U.S.-style crash.
Some experts worry it puts lenders and mortgage insurers in a vulnerable position should the hot housing markets of Toronto, Vancouver and other big cities experience a hard landing.
TORONTO (Reuters) – When Australian film director Robert Connolly went looking for some truth about WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, he didn’t turn to government documents or leaked emails of the sort that Assange’s website is famous for making public.
Instead, he focused on Assange’s past as a teenage hacker and young father growing up in suburban Melbourne, Australia, more than a decade before the launch of the website that has made him both famous and notorious.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Funnyman Bill Murray long ago mastered the ability to wring laughs by saying absurd things in a matter-of-fact tone, but even he was caught off guard when first approached to play Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the new film “Hyde Park on Hudson.”
“I thought ‘Oh God, I’m being asked to play Roosevelt?’ … How do you take this monster on?,” he said.
TORONTO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Canada
said on Tuesday it would rearrange its business units in the
hopes of boosting growth in its investor services segment and
speeding the recovery of its underperforming Caribbean unit.
The bank, Canada’s largest, will dissolve its international
banking unit, following the sale of its U.S. retail bank, a deal
that closed earlier this year. The shuffle will take effect Oct.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Call it renewed appreciation for literary classics or merely further evidence of Hollywood shying away from unproven material, but this year’s Toronto Film Festival slate is heavy with literary adaptations, some of which may make a splash during Oscar season.
“Cloud Atlas,” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” both based on recent best-sellers, are among the most eagerly anticipated titles set to unspool at the festival, which is considered part of the opening bell for the Hollywood awards season.