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The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill is framed by blooming tulips (CHRIS WATTIE)
The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill is framed by blooming tulips (CHRIS WATTIE)

Business Briefing

Canada a top spot for expat professionals (Take that, Turks and Caicos) Add to ...

These are stories Report on Business is following Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

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Take that, Turks and Caicos
Canada ranks among the world’s top destinations for expat professionals, and Vancouver among the top cities.

In a new survey released today by the global recruiting firm Hydrogen, Canada again held the No. 5 spot for relocation countries, behind the United States, Britain, Australia and Switzerland.

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(Where else can you find the world’s best-known mayor, a 92-cent dollar, and house prices deemed to be among the most inflated globally? And where Merriam-Webster just learned the word poutine?)

Rounding out the top 15 behind Canada were Germany, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, France, Spain, Honk Kong, China, Norway, Belgium and Netherlands.

(So if we actually ever do annex the Turks and Caicos Islands, they could be ahead of Germany, too.)

Where cities are concerned, Vancouver was No. 8, behind London, New York, Sydney, San Francisco, Singapore, Zurich and Paris, and ahead of Hong Kong and Melbourne.

(Where else can you find a house that you really can’t afford, but with such a great view?)

Hydrogen’s report, based on the findings of ESCP Europe from survey answers among more than 2,400 professionals in almost 100 countries, found that Britain is “fast closing the gap” with the top-ranked United States.

(You’ve got to remember here, of course, that they stole the world’s sexiest central banker from us.)

The Hydrogen report shows a rapidly changing world in the post-crisis era, as many countries still struggle for footing. Far more people are willing to work abroad, it said, and they find “no barriers” to that.

“The current economic climate has proved less of an obstacle and more of an opportunity to gaining international experience,” Alev Kilic of ESCP Europe, who supervised the research, said in the report.

“As companies speed up expansion into new geographies and markets, the demand for qualified and experienced professions is intensifying. Companies are increasingly taking a global outlook and they need people with international experience to spearhead market expansion.”

Markets rise
Global markets are on a high this morning as New York and London return to the action after a three-day weekend.

Tokyo’s Nikkei gained 0.2 per cent, though Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.1 per cent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX were up more than 0.3 per cent by about 8:30 a.m. ET, while the Paris CAC 40 was down 0.1 per cent.

Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 futures were up.

“The U.S. returns to action today after the long weekend, with the S&P 500 entering the week at a record high just above the 1,900 mark,” said Robert Kavcic of BMO Nesbitt Burns.

“Not to be forgotten, the TSX is within 3 per cent of its own record after rallying back to six-year highs in recent weeks. Equity investors continue to feast on central bank liquidity, expectations of stronger growth later this year and, in Canada’s case, firm oil prices and a strong earnings season for the big banks.”

Scotiabank gains
Bank of Nova Scotia today posted record core earnings for the second time in a year, extending a strong run of profits from Canadian banks that continues to defy expectations, The Globe and Mail’s Tim Kiladze reports.

Much like its rival banks that have already reported this earnings season, Canada’s third-largest lender mostly benefited from solid domestic banking operations and a hot wealth management arm. The bank also reported strong securities gains and better capital markets earnings, meaning its profit was widespread.

Scotiabank earned $1.8-billion last quarter, or $1.39 per share, up 14 per cent from the same period in 2013. After adjusting for one-time items, the bank earned $1.40 per share, beating analyst estimates of $1.31 per share.

Pilgrim's bids for Hillshire
Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. is trying to break up a proposed merger of Hillshire Brands Co. and Pinnacle Foods Inc. launching its own $6.4-billion (U.S.) bid for the former.

Pilgrim’s Pride, a chicken company, today unveiled a $45-a-share cash offer for Hillshire, describing the bid as a “substantially superior alternative” to Hillshire’s deal with Pinnacle.

“We are coming forward now because the opportunity for your shareholders to obtain the compelling value represented by our proposal will no longer exist if the proposed acquisition of Pinnacle is consummated,” Pilgrim’s chief executive officer William Lovette said in a letter to his Hillshire counterpart, Sean Connolly.

“Our offer is therefore conditioned on the termination of this transaction (and our proposed purchase price is not subject to reduction for any related termination fees),” he added in the letter released publicly.

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