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

RBC hits back at Facebook report, says it couldn’t see users' messages: Royal Bank of Canada denied allegations that the lender had access to private conversations on Facebook, forcefully arguing that it never could see or delete user messages. “We did not have the ability to see users’ messages,” RBC said in a statement Wednesday. Story (Tim Kiladze and James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Home Capital stock sinks after Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cuts bulk of stake: Berkshire Hathaway is offloading most of its shares in Home Capital Group Inc., 18 months after the firm run by billionaire investor Warren Buffett stepped in to help rescue the mortgage lender. News of Berkshire’s decision to pull out comes as Home Capital is still recovering from a crisis that pushed what was once Canada’s leader in alternative mortgages to the brink of insolvency last year. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Sun Life to buy majority stake in Bentall GreenOak in bid to expand global footprint: Sun Life Financial Inc. is set to acquire a majority stake in newly formed real estate investment management firm Bentall GreenOak, expanding its investment capabilities in commercial properties beyond North America. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

Fortress broker FFM files for insolvency: A third mortgage brokerage firm affiliated with troubled Fortress Real Developments Inc. has gone out of business, shutting down the last of the network that helped Fortress raise $920-million in syndicated mortgage financing from regular investors. Story (Janet McFarland, for subscribers) In case you missed it, read Janet McFarland’s investigation, Inside the fall of Fortress.

Robo-advisers are shaking up the Canadian investing landscape, in a good way: One dystopian vision of the future is that robots will take our jobs. Even the white-collar jobs. Apparently no one will be safe. Whatever your views on the likelihood of that grim prophecy (personally, I like the prospect of a sci-fi world with machines waiting on me hand and foot), there is no reason to fear the advent of machines lending a hand in the context of financial advisory services. Opinion (Lisa Kramer)


Brexit: With just 100 days until Brexit, the EU’s executive cautioned that most banking, insurance and other financial firms in Britain would be cut off from the European Union if there is no divorce deal. Story

Legal: A French appeals court ruled on Wednesday that Société Générale was justified in firing rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, who was sentenced to three years in jail for causing €4.9-billion (US$5.6-billion) in losses to the bank a decade ago. Story


Cannabis: Aleafia Health Inc. announced a friendly deal to acquire Emblem Corp. in an all-share transaction valued at $173.2 million that will combine the companies’ two chains of medical cannabis clinics. Story (for subscribers)

IPO: SoftBank Corp. shares sank 15 per cent on its market debut, wiping US$9-billion off their value, as investors sold off the telecom operator after its record initial public offering on worries about a recent service outage and its exposure to China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Story (for subscribers)

Health care: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co received an offer from Japanese healthcare firm Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings Co Ltd to buy the company’s French over-the-counter drugs business UPSA for $1.6 billion, the companies said on Wednesday. Story (for subscribers)

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