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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last week. Enjoy your weekend.

Remaking Scotiabank: Brian Porter is making big changes, but will investors buy in?: Five and a half years into his tenure, the 61-year-old has remade a 187-year-old bank. Your view of his handiwork depends on where you sit. There are clients, employees and institutional investors who say his constant push for transformation is essential to ensuring Scotiabank can keep pace with digital and regulatory changes. And there are detractors, including long-time employees both current and former, who say the CEO is moving too quickly and knock him for curbing the collegiality that made Scotiabank a great place to work and for sacrificing institutional memory. Moreover, there’s a dissenting view from the market: After years of commanding a premium valuation, the stock now trades at a significant discount to peers. Story (James Bradshaw and Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Invesco Canada chief Peter Intraligi leaves firm amid restructuring: The head of Invesco Canada Ltd. has left the asset manager as part of a restructuring tied to the U.S. parent company’s completion of the acquisition of OppenheimerFunds. Peter Intraligi, head of wealth-management intermediaries, Americas, is no longer with Invesco as of Friday, the company confirmed. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

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Prem Watsa: Modi’s victory reinforces bullish opportunity for investing in India: One of Canada’s best-known investors says that Narendra Modi’s election victory in India reinforces the bullish opportunity for investing in the country. Prem Watsa, the chief executive officer of insurance conglomerate Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and chairman of Fairfax India Holdings Corp., said in an interview that Mr. Modi’s second five-year term will continue to push India toward a business-friendly environment that will reward investors. Story (David Berman)

Banks expected to lose millions with repricing of Corus secondary offering: A syndicate of investment banks is expected to lose tens of millions of dollars after re-pricing the secondary offering of Corus Entertainment shares due to lower than expected demand. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, Tim Kiladze and Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

RBC, TD beat estimates with solid earnings, shares move in opposite directions: Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank reported solid earnings for the second quarter, helping to dial down concerns that Canada’s banking sector is set to stagnate – or worse, face serious challenges. The two banks are Canada’s largest lenders, and they both beat their earnings expectations. The results should give investors some confidence after Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce slashed its profit outlook for the full-year on Wednesday and noted that it now expects little-to-no earnings growth in fiscal 2019. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Mortgage stress tests protect Canada from potential housing crash and financial crisis, head of national housing agency says: Federal policy makers should not give in to calls to soften the mortgage stress test rule because it is protecting Canada from a potential housing crash and financial crisis, according to the head of Canada’s national housing agency. In a letter sent Thursday to the House of Commons Finance Committee, Evan Siddall, chief executive officer of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., offered an aggressive defence of Canada’s tougher mortgage qualification standard, saying it is needed to forestall potentially devastating economic consequences if house prices continue to rise and Canadians continue to become more indebted. Story (Janet McFarland, for subscribers)

CIBC lowers full-year profit outlook, following flat second-quarter earnings: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported second-quarter earnings largely on par with expectations, but the lender is recalibrating its forecast for the full fiscal year and now expects little-to-no profit growth in 2019. CIBC made $1.3-billion in its most recent quarter, a 1.9-per-cent gain over the same period in 2018. After adjusting for one-time items, the bank’s profit has been flat for five straight quarters. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Wealthsimple raises $100-million in one of Canada’s largest investment rounds for a fintech company: Power Financial Corp.’s online investment manager Wealthsimple has raised $100-million in one of the country’s largest investment rounds for a fintech company. Wealthsimple announced Wednesday that its latest round of funding was led by Allianz X, the digital investment arm of Germany-based Allianz Group, a global insurer and investment company that manages almost €2-trillion in assets. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

HSBC to open 50-person AI lab in Toronto: HSBC Holdings PLC is opening a new 50-person data lab in Toronto that will harness the city’s artificial-intelligence talent. The London-based global bank announced the lab at the Collision tech conference in Toronto on Wednesday. Story (Josh O’Kane)

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Here’s how Canadian banks are trying to keep their customers hooked on borrowing: Full credit to the banks for resourcefulness in selling Canadians on ways to rack up more debt. The latest debt numbers from the credit-monitoring firm TransUnion Canada suggest developments in real estate lending have slowed the market for home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs. Opinion (Rob Carrick)

Barrick bids to buy remaining Acacia shares, put an end to Tanzania tax dispute: Barrick Gold Corp is offering US$285-million in stock to buy the minority share of Acacia Mining PLC it doesn’t already own, in a move that may finally end a multiyear export ban in Africa that has crippled a portion of its gold production. Toronto-based Barrick, which already owns 63.9 per cent of London-listed Acacia, says it is prepared to offer 0.153 of a Barrick share for each minority Acacia share. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

Betting on breakfast sandwiches: CPP invests $200-million in Canada’s Premium Brands, shares pop: Canada Pension Plan’s investment arm is spending $200-million to acquire a 7.1-per-cent stake in Premium Brands Holdings Corp., forming a relationship with the Canadian company that supplies Starbucks Corp. with its popular breakfast sandwiches. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

StandUp Ventures, investor in women-led businesses, raises $18-million: A venture capital fund that invests in women-led companies has raised $18-million from a group of investors, including three Canadian financial institutions that are looking to strengthen their ties with Canada’s technology entrepreneurs. StandUp Ventures, a fund launched at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District and led by Michelle McBane, has secured financing commitments from a conglomerate of investors, including three financial institutions. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Robo-advisers plot more growth in Canadian market: Robo-advisers are gaining momentum in Canada, with the digital investment managers now surpassing $5-billion in assets under management. The largest, Wealthsimple, said recently it had $4.3-billion in assets under administration as of March 31, 2019, up from $3.4-billion at the end of 2018. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

Australian gold miners on the hunt for Canadian assets: Here come the Aussies. Flush with cash, Australian mining companies are buying Canadian gold mines and more are expected to join the fray. Last week, Melbourne-based St. Barbara Ltd. reached a friendly agreement to buy Vancouver’s Atlantic Gold Corp. for $722-million. Atlantic owns and operates a very profitable gold mine in Nova Scotia with a long reserve life. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

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A ‘made in Canada’ approach is the best way forward to an open banking system: Digital innovation is changing every industry, including financial services, and the main beneficiaries are Canadians: faster transactions, on-the-go access, more tailored products and a host of new capabilities are delivering a new level of convenience and choice unparalleled in history. Opinion (Rizwan Khalfan)


Barrick’s offer for control of Acacia Mining reflects risk, CEO says: Barrick Gold Corp.’s offer to buy the rest of Acacia Mining, valuing the company at US$787-million, is fair because the Canadian company is taking on more risk by increasing its exposure to Tanzania, Barrick’s chief executive said on Friday. Story (Reuters, for subscribers)

Musk’s SpaceX raised over $1-billion in six months, filings show: Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised more than $1 billion in financing in the last six months as it aims to roll out an ambitious high-speed internet service by using a constellation of satellites to beam signals from space. Story

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