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Streetwise Streetwise newsletter: Major shakeup in senior ranks at Manulife; battle escalates between TransAlta and activist investors; Canadian banks prepare for worst-case Brexit scenario

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

Manulife shakes up senior ranks amid digital shift: Manulife Financial Corp. is making major changes to its senior ranks as chief operating officer Linda Mantia makes plans to leave the company this summer, according to people familiar with the matter. Story (James Bradshaw, Clare O’Hara and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

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U.S. activist investors to withhold votes for three of TransAlta’s directors in battle over Brookfield partnership: U.S. activist investors plan to withhold their votes for three of TransAlta Corp.’s directors, including the chairman, in an escalating battle over the power generator’s $750-million partnership deal with Brookfield Renewable Partners LP. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Canada’s big banks preparing for worst-case Brexit scenario, with some taking steps to bolster Dublin offices: Canada’s big investment banks are preparing for the possibility of a worst-case Brexit scenario, with some taking steps to bolster their Dublin offices in case Britain is not able to strike a deal with the European Union before the new Halloween deadline. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Transcontinental defends sale of East Coast newspapers to SaltWire in wake of lawsuit: Printing, packaging and media company Transcontinental Inc. is fighting allegations that it had misrepresented information about its business in the 2017 sale of its East Coast newspapers. Story (Susan Krashinsky Robertson)

Newmont shareholders back $10-billion Goldcorp takeover: Newmont Mining Corp. shareholders have voted resoundingly in favour of the company’s US$10-billion acquisition of Vancouver’s Goldcorp Inc., removing the last major obstacle to what will likely be the second-biggest deal ever in the gold sector. Story (Niall McGee)

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa says Fairfax will focus on internal growth at key insurance business: Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa told shareholders of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd on Thursday that the company will focus on internal growth at its key insurance business and step up efforts to boost its stock price by focusing on investment returns. He said Fairfax was de-emphasizing acquisition-driven growth, but assured shareholders that would not limit the company’s overall performance. Story

MORE DEALS NEWS

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Billionaire Ron Burkle reportedly in talks to buy National Enquirer: Owners of the National Enquirer are in talks to sell the tabloid to the California billionaire Ronald Burkle, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations. Story

Uber files for IPO, lifting curtain on finances: Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday filed publicly with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its initial public offering (IPO), taking it a step closer to one of the largest technology stock listings of all time. Story (for subscribers)

Lyft’s stock slide casts long shadow on Uber’s IPO: Uber Technologies Inc may face a cooler reception from investors than expected when it prices its initial public offering next month since smaller U.S. ride-hailing rival Lyft Inc’s aggressive stock launch and subsequent fall. Story (for subscribers)

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Why shorting the Canadian banks on housing makes no sense: When Steve Eisman warns about a downturn, investors listen – so his recent bet against Canadian banks is getting a lot of attention. Famous for his prescient call against the United States housing market before the 2008 global financial crisis, one of the fantastically profitable wagers profiled in The Big Short, Mr. Eisman, a fund manager, is now predicting trouble for Canada’s largest lenders. Story (Tim Kiladze and James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Top links: Canadian banks ‘ill-prepared’ for turn in credit cycle, says short seller: “'Canada has not had a credit cycle in a few decades,' Eisman, portfolio manager at Neuberger Berman told BNN Bloomberg in a Tuesday interview. ‘I don’t think there’s a Canadian bank CEO that knows what a credit cycle really looks like.” “I just think, psychologically, they’re extremely ill-prepared. And, given how low the risk weights on their balance sheets are. I think they’re unprepared for how much their capital ratios could go down if there’s just a simple normalization of credit, not a calamity, just a simple normalization of credit.’” Story (Scott Barlow, for subscribers)

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