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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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For Canadian bank stocks, ‘the risk/reward equation is not stacking up attractively’: Merrill Lynch bank analyst Ebrahim Poonawala has turned more cautious on Canadian banks ahead of upcoming profit reports. Story (Scott Barlow)

Goldman CEO memo calls Apple Card ‘a beginning’ on launch day: Goldman Sachs Group Inc officially became a credit-card lender on Tuesday by rolling out its first product with Apple Inc, but the bank has aspirations to grow much bigger in consumer lending, its chief executive said in an internal memo viewed by Reuters. Story (Reuters)

U.S. regulators hand Wall Street a major win with stripped-down ‘Volcker Rule’: U.S. banking regulators on Tuesday approved changes easing a rule introduced after the 2007-09 financial crisis that bans banks from trading on their own account, giving Wall Street one of its biggest wins under the Trump administration. Story (Reuters)

Independent investment dealers are in the midst of a resurgence: Some of Canada’s independent investment dealers are thriving after attracting top investment advisors and experiencing burgeoning client asset levels. These firms have been able to accomplish this feat at a time when business conditions have been less than ideal. All dealers have faced rising costs associated with increasing regulation and compliance – but it’s the independents that have felt the most pain, with about 50 closing up shop during the past five years. Story (Joel Schlesinger)

DEALS NEWS: MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, IPOs and FINANCINGS

Elanco to become No. 2 in animal health with $7.6-billion Bayer deal: Elanco Animal Health agreed to buy Bayer’s veterinary drugs unit on Tuesday in a cash and stock deal valued at $7.6-billion, creating the second largest maker of medicines for pets and livestock and expanding Elanco’s reach online. Story (Reuters)

Climate change could rain on Saudi Aramco’s IPO parade: Saudi Aramco’s biggest asset could also be a liability. The state energy giant’s vast oil reserves – it can sustain current production levels for the next 50 years – make it more exposed than any other company to a rising tide of environmental activism and shift away from fossil fuels. Story (Reuters)

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

AGF shares jump on U.K. merger talks: Shares of Canadian fund manager AGF Management Ltd. soared Monday amid merger talks on the other side of the Atlantic. AGF confirmed Monday that London-based Smith & Williamson, a private wealth-management firm of which AGF owns 33.6 per cent, is in “exclusive discussions” with Tilney Group Ltd. about a possible merger that would create one of Britain’s largest wealth managers with £45-billion ($66-million) in assets. Story (Clare O’Hara and David Milstead)

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