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

Short-seller Muddy Waters takes aim at Manulife: Manulife Financial Corp. has come under attack from short-seller Muddy Waters over the potential fallout from a lawsuit that is currently making its way through the courts. Early Thursday U.S.-based Muddy Waters LLC revealed a short position in Manulife, which means it will profit if the Canadian life insurance giant’s stock falls. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

A big moment for a small exchange: Canadian Brad Katsuyama’s IEX lands its first listing: When U.S. stock markets open on Friday, there will be one subtle but telling difference. For the first time, there will be a listing on the upstart exchange headed by Brad Katsuyama, the Canadian innovator profiled in Flash Boys, Michael Lewis’s 2014 bestseller. Mr. Katsuyama, a former trader at Royal Bank of Canada, has become Wall Street’s best-known rebel and an outspoken critic of trading practices that enrich exchanges and middlemen at the expense of customers. Story (Ian McGugan, for subscribers)

HSBC launches foray into digital advisers in Canada: HSBC is joining the Canadian banks' robo-adviser revolution. HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC and the seventh-largest bank in Canada, announced on Thursday the launch of HSBC Wealth Compass, an online digital portfolio manager for mutual fund investors looking to access exchange-traded funds. Story (Clare O’Hara)


Insurtech: In the past few years, some big changes have been unveiled in one of the world’s most traditional industries. John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, recently announced it will stop underwriting traditional life insurance. Instead, the 156-year-old insurer, owned by Canada’s Manulife Financial, will sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones. Story

Brexit: Japanese car maker Nissan and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have became the latest companies to warn about damage to the economy if Britain fails to secure a trade deal before leaving the European Union. Story

Scandal: Danske Bank faces a U.S. criminal investigation into a 200 billion euro ($230 billion) money laundering scandal at its Estonian branch which has rocked investor faith in Denmark’s biggest lender and forced its chief executive to quit. Story


A consortium including British billionaire John Whittaker and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management is considering a bid for Intu Properties, the £2-billion ($3.37-billion) shopping centre owner. Story (for subscribers)


Investment banks reap rewards with $2.8-billion in cannabis equity deals: Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector is helping to fill the gap created by a slowdown in capital raising by energy and mining companies. In the first nine months of the year, investment bankers helped a slew of Canadian medical marijuana producers – including Canopy Growth Corp., ABcann Global Corp. and Aphria Inc. – raise a total of $2.8-billion to help finance their expansion plans, according to data from Refinitiv. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

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