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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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CI Financial’s stock sinks as mutual fund giant struggles with redemptions: Canadians continue to pull their money from CI Financial Corp.'s mutual funds, extending the company’s troubling streak of net redemptions and sending its share price tumbling. Story (Tim Kiladze)

Manulife, Sun Life resist calls to spend on acquisitions: Canada’s two biggest insurers are piling up capital and continuing to face Bay Street questions about when they might use their cash piles for big deals. Story (David Milstead)

Manulife posts 1.5 per cent rise in quarterly profit: Manulife Financial Corp. on Wednesday edged past estimates for second-quarter profit, helped by growth in its domestic and U.S. business. Story (Reuters)

Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt sees more cash flow, share buybacks in future: Brookfield Asset Management Inc. CEO Bruce Flatt continues to sound notes of caution about the global economy, but says the company sees itself ramping up the amount of cash it will generate in the coming years, with stock buybacks and perhaps an increased dividend to follow. Story (David Milstead)

Banks are offering cash and iPads to people opening new chequing accounts — should you bite? If you’re up for a bribe, it’s a great time to open a chequing account with one of the big banks. Royal Bank of Canada will give you an iPad that appears to have a retail value of more than $400 if you open one of two types of chequing accounts. Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Montreal are offering $300 cash, while Bank of Nova Scotia is putting up 10,000 Scene points or Scotia Rewards points. Personal finance opinion (Rob Carrick)

DEALS NEWS: MERGERS, ACQUISITIONS, IPOs and FINANCINGS

Inter Pipeline receives takeover offer, stock spikes: Inter Pipeline Ltd.’s shares surged 9 per cent on Thursday after a Globe and Mail report that the Calgary energy-infrastructure company has attracted interest from a suitor. Story (Jeffrey Jones)

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Inter Pipeline’s $3.5-billion Heartland project testing investors’ nerves as talk swirls of takeover interest: Calgary’s Inter Pipeline Ltd. is well into its biggest-ever construction project, a $3.5-billion petrochemical complex that has made some investors nervous. It’s not the business plan for the Heartland propane-to-polypropylene venture that has put pressure on the shares; it’s the cost of funding it. Inter appears to want to see the project through on its own – even if that means spurning a takeover bid for the company. Opinion (Jeff Jones)

Pharmaceutical company Bayer AG acquiring BlueRock Therapeutics for US$1-billion: Multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer AG announced it will fully acquire BlueRock Therapeutics, valuing the biotechnology firm with offices in Toronto at approximately US$1-billion. Bayer already owned 40.8 per cent of the privately held regenerative medicine company headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., and is paying US$600-million for the remaining 59.2 per cent that’s currently held by Versant Ventures, a venture-capital firm, and BlueRock’s management. Story (Megan Devlin)

Activist shareholder calls for removal of Hudson’s Bay chair Richard Baker if privatization bid fails: One of Hudson’s Bay Co.’s minority shareholders is calling for the ouster of the retailer’s executive chairman, Richard Baker, if his $1-billion privatization offer fails. U.S. hedge-fund firm Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC, which has long called on Mr. Baker to sell HBC’s properties, accused the executive chairman of disenfranchising minority shareholders and threatening them with share losses if they reject his offer of $9.45 per share. Story (Rachelle Younglai)

Canadian Tire buying Party City’s Canadian business for $174.4-million: Canadian Tire Corp. is diversifying its store offerings with the purchase of 65 Party City stores across Canada for $174.4-million cash, a move the national retailer expects to strengthen its connection with millennial customers. Story (Canadian Press)

Anadarko shareholders vote in favour of US$38-bln Occidental buyout: Shareholders of Anadarko Petroleum Corp on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to sell the company for US$38 billion to rival Occidental Petroleum Corp, ending a short-lived contest that pitted two of the most storied names in the oil industry against one another. Story (Reuters)

Saudi Aramco IPO back on the table, but valuation gap persists: sources: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is insisting on a US$2 trillion valuation of oil firm Aramco, even though some bankers and company insiders say the kingdom should trim its target to around US$1.5 trillion, industry and banking sources said. Story (Reuters)

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