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A vacant burned out house sits in an area that used to be filled with houses in Detroit's east end (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
A vacant burned out house sits in an area that used to be filled with houses in Detroit's east end (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

Business Briefing

Neglect, corruption, exodus: What drove Detroit to historic bankruptcy Add to ...

“As a share of GDP, Canadian consumer spending is not particularly high – in fact, at 54.1 per cent of nominal GDP, it’s now slightly below the 30-year average,” Mr. Porter said.

“And, with the personal savings rate at 5.5 per cent and debt/income easing, there may be some scope for consumers to make a nice contribution in 2014/15.”

Telus wants 'parity'
Telus Corp.’s top executive says the federal government’s quest to “manufacture” more competition in the $19-billion wireless industry is creating a tilted playing field that is poised to give unfair advantages to deep-pocketed foreign carriers like Verizon Communications Inc. at the expense of Canadian incumbents.

Ottawa is courting Verizon, which under current rules could buy smaller Canadian carriers that other incumbents would not be allowed to acquire. Verizon would also have an advantage in the coming spectrum auction because it would be treated as a new entrant and allowed to buy more wireless licences that telecom executives consider to be the industry’s lifeblood.

“All I am asking for is parity in the way Verizon is treated,” Telus chief executive officer Darren Entwistle told The Globe and Mail’s editorial board today, Rita Trichur and Boyd Erman report.

In doing so, he called on Ottawa to create a level playing field for the industry.

Separately today, Verizon, which is in talks to acquire Canadian wireless upstart Mobilicity, said it sees potential in the Ontario and Quebec wireless markets, reiterating its interest in crossing the border into Canada.

"We continue to explore and have discussions," chief financial officer Francis Shammo told analysts after the U.S. wireless giant posted its quarterly results today.

Mr. Shannon sees potential in Ontario and Quebec, specifically, The Globe and Mail's Bertrand Marotte reports, given the concentration of the country's population.

Shoppers posts gains
Canada’s biggest drugstore chain today cited a “challenging economic, competitive and regulatory environment” as it posted gains in profit and sales for the second quarter.

Shoppers Drug Mart Corp., which just this week agreed to a $12.4-billion takeover by the country’s biggest grocer, posted a jump in profit to $147-million or 73 cents a share, compared to $145-million or 69 cents a year earlier, The Globe and Mail's Bertrand Marotte reports.

Sales rose 3.3 per cent to $2.5-billion, while same-store sales, a key measure in retailing, rose 3.1 per cent.

“Together with our associate-owners and their teams at store level, we continue to execute on our strategic priorities and growth initiatives which are driving sales and market share gains in our core health, beauty and convenience categories,” said chief executive officer Domenic Pilla.

“At the same time, we remain diligent in our efforts to reduce costs and drive efficiencies across the business. Our efforts thus far have us well-positioned heading into the back half of the year in what remains a challenging economic, competitive and regulatory environment.”

Dell meeting postponed
The proposed takeover of Dell Inc. has suffered a setback, the company adjourning its meeting today.

No sooner had the meeting begun in Texas, it was put over to next week.

“Dell Inc. announced that today’s special meeting of stockholders was convened and adjourned to provide additional time to solicit proxies from Dell stockholders,” the company said in a short statement, putting the meeting over to July 24, presumably because it faced an uncertain outcome.

Founder Michael Dell is leading a bid to take the company private for $13.65 (U.S.) a share.

Morgan Stanley profit climbs
Another day, another U.S. bank topping expectations.

Morgan Stanley today posted a hefty jump in second-quarter profit, following in the footsteps of several other U.S. banks that have reported results over the past several days.

The bank’s profits climbed to $802-million (U.S.) or 41 cents a share from $564-million or 29 cents a year earlier, as revenue rose to $8.5-billion from $6.9-billion.

Income from continuing operations rose to $1-billion or 43 cents from $562-million or 28 cents.

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