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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours,

FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

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Trade tensions, economic woes cast cloud over bank outlooks: Rising trade tensions and weakening growth in major economies loom large as Canadian banks prepare to report earnings for the fiscal third quarter. Several analysts are predicting that earnings for each share among Canada’s six largest banks will increase by 6 per cent to 7 per cent year over year – a steady but unspectacular rate – for the three months that ended July 31. Story (James Bradshaw)

Warren Buffett is buying bank stocks. Why aren’t others?: Stock investors have had little love for banks over the past year. With one notable exception. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has been building its position in banks over the past year. Story (New York Times)

DEALS NEWS: MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, IPOs and FINANCINGS

Why Richard Baker will raise HBC bid: Here are two fearless predictions on the Hudson’s Bay Co. takeover battle: Richard Baker and his allies will increase their $1-billion offer for the department store chain, and they will do it with other people’s money. Opinion (Andrew Willis)

Catalyst Capital buys HBC stake in bid to block Baker effort to take retailer private: Catalyst Capital Group Inc.’s said it has acquired 10.05 per cent of Hudson’s Bay Co., giving the investment firm more leverage to block a $1-billion privatization offer from the retailer’s executive chairman, Richard Baker. The $187-million of stock tendered to the Toronto-based investment firm’s bid for shares adds to its existing position in HBC, Catalyst said without disclosing the total amount. Story (Rachelle Younglai)

Cannabis, crypto and connections: Wayland Group’s shifting fortunes: A warning sign of fresh trouble for Wayland Group Corp. came to light in late April. Once one of Canada’s most promising cannabis companies, Wayland announced on April 23 that it likely wouldn’t file its 2018 financial statements on time. A week later, it confirmed the delay, prompting the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to place a cease trade order on its shares. Story (Tim Kiladze and Mark Rendell)

Oil-patch woes could play in favour of a Husky buyout: Husky Energy Inc. could be ripe for privatization by its long-time controlling shareholder based on company-specific math and the sorry state of Canada’s oil patch. Opinion (Jeffrey Jones)

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Husky Energy shares rise on analyst report about potential privatization: Shares in Husky Energy Inc. are up by about five per cent after an RBC Dominion Securities analyst suggested its low share price makes this a good time for the company to be taken private. Story (Canadian Press)

Quebec minister touts AI financing, but Caisse says there’s no deal: The Quebec government and pension-fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will invest a combined US$100-million in Element AI Inc., representing up to half of a coming venture-capital financing by the Montreal artificial-intelligence startup, Quebec’s Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said. The cabinet of Premier François Legault last month issued an order-in-council that the government would invest US$25-million through Investissement Québec (IQ), a provincially controlled investing agency, as Element “is of significant economic interest to Quebec.” Story (Sean Silcoff)

Quebecor’s Péladeau may consider offer for Transat if Air Canada deal doesn’t take off: Quebec businessman and former politician Pierre Karl Péladeau said on Monday he will vote against Air Canada’s offer to buy tour operator Transat AT, and would consider making a separate offer with partners if the deal fails. Story (Reuters)

Saudi Aramco asks banks to pitch for roles in planned IPO, sources say: Saudi Aramco has formally asked major banks to submit proposals for potential roles in its planned initial public offering, two sources said, in what could be the world’s biggest IPO. Story

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Goldman Sachs arm to take stake in Slate Asset Management: The asset-management arm of Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is taking a minority stake in Toronto’s Slate Asset Management, according to sources familiar with the matter. The investment, which is expected to be announced Monday morning, will see Goldman buy a minority interest in Slate, a real-estate focused investment company with more than $6-billion in assets under management. Story (Clare O’Hara)

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