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

IIROC recommends new enforcement rules to resolve some cases more quickly: Canada’s securities regulator is recommending new enforcement rules for the investment community that would resolve certain cases more quickly and impose a standard fine for minor violations where investors have not been harmed. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

A blessing for dividend investors: Debt ratings giant S&P shifts view on Canada’s telecom giants: Rating agency Standard and Poor’s is relaxing its recent warnings about the debt burdens shouldered by Canada’s largest telecom companies, easing the financial pressure on BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc. and Telus Corp. as they spend tens of billions of dollars to build out their 5G networks. S&P’s rationale, in a nutshell, is a rather Canadian one. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Knight Therapeutics needs more independent directors, proxy advisory firm ISS says amid activist battle: An independent proxy advisory firm is recommending that Montreal-based drug company Knight Therapeutics Inc., which is in the midst of an activist battle with shareholder Medison Biotech Ltd., elect more independent directors to its board. Institutional Shareholder Services, or ISS, is also recommending that shareholders vote against Medison CEO Meir Jakobsohn, who has sat on Knight’s board since the two companies took ownership stakes in one another in 2015, at the company’s annual meeting on May 7. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

The Liberals’ CMHC mortgage madness is another subprime crisis waiting to happen: Are you a first-time homebuyer who is feeling priced out of the market? Don’t worry about saving more money—go see Cammy the Mortgage Closer instead. You probably know the agency, officially known as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), as the federal mortgage insurer. But starting in September, it will also offer home loans to help property newbies just like you. ROB Magazine (Rita Trichur, for subscribers)


Royal Bank of Scotland CEO McEwan stepping down after more than five years: Royal Bank of Scotland is searching for a new chief executive after Ross McEwan resigned, signaling a fresh start as it heads for full private ownership after a state bailout. Story (Reuters, for subscribers)

German bank merger hopes crumble as Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank scrap talks: German hopes of creating a national banking champion able to challenge global competitors were dashed on Thursday when Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank ended merger talks due to the risks of doing a deal, restructuring costs and capital demands. Story (Reuters)


Comcast reportedly in talks to sell its stake in Hulu to Disney: Comcast Corp is in talks to sell its stake in Hulu to Walt Disney Co, CNBC reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Story (Reuters)

U.K. regulator blocks Sainsbury’s $9.4-billion takeover of Walmart’s ASDA: ritain’s competition regulator on Thursday blocked Sainsbury’s proposed 7.3 billion pound (US$9.4-billion) takeover of Walmart-owned Asda – a huge blow to the supermarket groups who wanted to combine to overtake market leader Tesco. Story (Reuters, for subscribers)


Why RBC is becoming the New England Patriots of Bay Street: It’s time to acknowledge that when it comes to investment banking, RBC Capital Markets is playing in a different league than its Canadian rivals. The deal-making arm of Royal Bank of Canada churned out $8.4 billion in revenue last year, almost as much as its second- and third-ranked domestic competitors put together. In the same way it seems preordained that football’s New England Patriots will be Super Bowl favourites every year, it now appears certain that RBC Capital Markets will make far more money than any other Bay Street dealer. ROB Magazine (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

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