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Streetwise newsletter: Enbridge consolidation, Callidus woes and new CPPIB strategy

Here are the top reads,

Enbridge Consolidation: Enbridge Inc. is making good on a promise to untangle its structure by buying out its four publicly traded subsidiaries for $11.4-billion in stock. The proposed move will result in all of the partly owned units - Spectra Energy Partners L.P., Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P., Enbridge Energy Management LLC and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc. - being folded back into the parent company at various exchange ratios. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Callidus Woes: Callidus Capital Corp., the publicly-traded lender run by financier Newton Glassman, has been under scrutiny from Ontario’s securities regulator for its disclosure about an investment in a company that makes casino games. Story (Andrew Willis and Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

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Executive appointment: ATB Financial has chosen Curtis Stange to be its next chief executive officer, reaching within its own ranks for a successor to retiring leader Dave Mowat. Story (James Bradshaw , for subscribers)

Bank Deal: Walmart Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its Canadian banking operations to financier Stephen Smith and private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP. Walmart Canada Bank, which launched its first credit card in Canada in 2010, had been up for sale since last year. Walmart revealed the sale in financial disclosures on Thursday, but did not disclose the buyers or terms of the agreement. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

CPPIB: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is rolling out its plans to manage increased contributions from Canadian workers, and charting a new investment strategy designed to make the fund more competitive as it grows. CPPIB, the largest pension investment fund in the country, is preparing for an influx in new capital linked to the Canada Pension Plan expansion. Story (Jacqueline Nelson, for subscribers)

FINANCIAL SERVICES WRAP

Scotiabank: The Bank of Nova Scotia has resigned as a primary dealer of British government debt, the Debt Management Office said on Thursday, the latest financial services firm to have given up the role in recent years. Primary dealers are banks that buy bonds, known in Britain as gilts, directly from the government to sell them on, helping to create a liquid market. Story (Reuters)

Mortgage Slugfest: An all-out brouhaha has broken out in Canada’s variable-rate mortgage market. This type of overt rate rivalry doesn’t happen often. The late honourable Jim Flaherty is probably wagging his finger at banks as we speak. Story (Robert McLister)

Wells Fargo: Some employees in a Wells Fargo & Co. unit that handles business banking improperly altered information on documents related to corporate customers, according to people familiar with the matter. Story (WSJ, subscription required)

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DEAL WRAP

PayPal Deal: PayPal Holdings Inc. is nearing a deal to buy European financial-technology startup iZettle AB for around $2.2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that would catapult the U.S. digital-payments giant into hundreds of thousands of brick-and-mortar retailers around the world. Story (WSJ, subscription required)

Commercial Real Estate: Brookfield Property Partners is in talks to acquire a stake in a Fifth Avenue, New York, office tower majority owned by a company that was previously run by Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump, a source familiar with a potential deal said on Thursday. Story (Reuters)

WHAT WE’RE READING ELSEWHERE

BARCLAYS: Activist investor Edward Bramson is calling on Barclays to end the bulk of trading activities at its investment bank, in a radical plan to cut costs and boost returns at the British lender, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Story (Reuters)

EURIBOR TRIAL: A former Barclays trader on trial in London on charges he conspired to rig Euribor interest rates said on Thursday he was no more senior at the bank than people who served burgers at fast-food chain McDonald’s. Story (Reuters)

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RBS: Lawyers for Royal Bank of Scotland asked an ex-employee to destroy confidential documents, according to a letter seen by Reuters, in a move which the former staffer’s lawyer said put him at risk of legal action by the U.S. government. Story (Reuters)

BITCOIN: Bitcoin alone uses nearly as much electricity as Ireland, with computers around the world ceaselessly trying to mine the stuff. Bitcoin is on track to use 1.8 percent of the planet’s electricity by next year, or more than today’s entire solar energy output, estimates Grist’s Eric Holthaus. Story (Bloomberg)

CRYPTO FRAUD: Hundreds of technology firms raising money in the fevered market for cryptocurrencies are using deceptive or even fraudulent tactics to lure investors. In a review of documents produced for 1,450 digital coin offerings, The Wall Street Journal has found 271 with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns and missing or fake executive teams. Story (WSJ, subscription required)

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Hydro One: As Ontario’s political leaders hammer Hydro One Ltd. over its executive pay, election campaign threats are weighing on the business, prompting the company’s chief executive officer to spell out the consequences of this newfound interference. Hydro One has dominated headlines ahead of Ontario’s provincial election on June 7 after Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford threatened to fire the utility’s CEO Mayo Schmidt and replace the board of directors because of executive pay levels. Mr. Schmidt was given a $1.7-million raise last year, bringing his total compensation to $6.2-million. Meanwhile, the NDP has pledged to repurchase Hydro One following its 2015 privatization. In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Schmidt warned that such political meddling could set Hydro One back at a critical juncture in the North American power industry. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

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