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Royal Bank of Canada says its third-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago, helped higher by strength in its personal and commercial banking and insurance operations.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.

Canada’s major banks start to report third-quarter earnings

Two of Canada’s biggest banks, Royal Bank of Canada RY-T and Toronto-Dominion Bank TD-T, kicked off the season of third-quarter earnings earlier this week. Analysts slashed expectations in recent weeks, citing persistent inflation and more stringent capital requirements from increasingly cautious regulators. So far, RBC topped analysts’ estimates despite saying it expects to trim its work force, while TD Bank fell short. TD also disclosed that it expects to face fines or other penalties from regulatory and law enforcement probes related to its anti-money laundering practices, Stefanie Marotta reports. The rest of the Big Six banks will release their results next week.

Rogers launches 5G service on parts of TTC subway system

Rogers Communications Inc. RCI-B-T announced on Wednesday that it has launched 5G service on the “busiest sections” of Toronto’s subway system. The decision comes amid a dispute with rival telecom companies, BCE Inc. BCE-T and Telus Corp. T-T, that have been seeking access to the Rogers-owned network. Rogers made the decision to launch the service during consultations by federal Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, whose department had proposed a condition that would prohibit the company from going ahead before coming to terms with the rival telecoms, Alexandra Posadzki reports.

Universities are building dorms – just nowhere near enough

As Canada struggles with a prolonged housing crisis, universities and colleges have jacked up enrolments of international students who need rental units – but aren’t building enough dorms. According to a report from market researchers Bonard, postsecondary schools in Canada’s largest markets covers just 12 per cent of the student population. The report mentions that 10,000 beds are under construction, and roughly 8,000 more in development. But economists at Desjardins Securities say: “This won’t be nearly sufficient to meet the demand of 1.5 million student renters.” Matt Lundy takes a closer look in this week’s Decoder.

Canadian insurers weathering wildfire costs but prices keep rising

Canada’s largest insurers remain well capitalized to withstand increased losses caused by the country’s record-breaking wildfire season, but, as Clare O’Hara reports, the costs for consumers may be going up. While Intact Financial Corp IFC-T, Fairfax Financial Holdings Corp., Definity Financial Corp. DFY-T and Trisura Group Ltd. all reported positive earnings for the first half of 2023, experts predict that the insurers will increase the cost of insurance premiums in the “short to medium term.” The Canadian insurance industry has seen the number of natural-disaster claims more than quadruple since 2008 because of weather events such as hurricanes, floods, hailstorms and wildfires. Last year, such events accounted for $3.1-billion of insured losses – up from just $40-million in 2008.

BRICS expands to six new countries

The bloc of countries representing BRICS agreed to add six new members – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates – at the end of this week’s three-day BRICS summit in Johannesburg. According to Geoffrey York, the major expansion drive will strengthen the hand of China and Russia in their battle against the power of Western sanctions. It is the first expansion of the bloc since 2010, when South Africa was added to the original four members: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

A financial guide for university students and their parents

It’s tricky to be a postsecondary student in 2023. Your family spent years saving for college or university. Now that the moment is here, inflation means everything is pricier than expected. Whether you’re an international student, living at home in your first year, dealing with student loans or the parent of a university-bound kid, The Globe offers a crash course in personal finance for both students and their families.

Now that you’re all caught up, test your knowledge with our weekly business and investing news quiz and prepare for the week ahead with the Globe’s investing calendar.

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 29/02/24 4:00pm EST.

SymbolName% changeLast
Royal Bank of Canada
Toronto-Dominion Bank
Rogers Communications Inc Cl B NV
Telus Corp
Intact Financial Corp
Definity Financial Corporation

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