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

Facebook gave RBC, other companies preferential access to users' data, documents show: British lawmakers have released hundreds of internal Facebook emails including several showing how the social media giant entered into contracts with a host of large companies including the Royal Bank of Canada that gave them special access to users' friends list. Story (Paul Waldie and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Washington state rejects Hydro One deal for Avista, citing interference from Ontario government: Washington State regulators have rejected Hydro One Ltd.’s $4.4-billion acquisition of Avista Corp., citing the possibility of political interference from the Ontario government as the primary reason. While the utilities have the right to appeal, Washington State’s decision imperils a deal envisioned by Hydro One as a step toward creating a leading North American power company. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Richardson GMP adviser John Reyes suspended, fined $110,000 for inappropriate investments: Regulators have suspended a Calgary investment adviser and fined him $110,000 in the latest fallout from a case involving inappropriate investments and major losses among clients at Richardson GMP Ltd. The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) imposed the penalties in a settlement with John Reyes, an adviser at Richardson GMP’s Eau Claire office in Calgary, over code-of-conduct breaches. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

National Bank bets on hot Quebec economy to boost profit: National Bank of Canada is touting its heavy exposure to Quebec amid a shifting national economic outlook, arguing that recent strength in its home province will be a boon to its bottom line in the near future. “As a superregional bank with leading market share in Quebec, we are well positioned to benefit from the strength of the Quebec economy,” chief executive Louis Vachon said on a conference call on Wednesday to discuss the bank’s fourth-quarter results. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Glass Lewis backs three Paulson nominees in Detour Gold proxy battle: Independent proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. is backing three Paulson & Co. Inc. candidates for the board of Detour Gold Corp. but stopped short of recommending all of the dissident shareholder’s nominees. New York-based Paulson, which owns roughly 5.7 per cent of Detour’s shares, has been agitating for a broad overhaul at the struggling junior gold company since the summer and has proposed replacing eight out of nine directors, including interim chief executive Michael Kenyon and chairman Alex Morrison. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)


Earnings: Laurentian Bank of Canada’s fourth-quarter net income dropped by 13 per cent from the previous year to $50.8-million, on lower revenues and loan volumes, and missed analyst estimates. Story

Legal: Goldman Sachs Group Inc may need to boost its legal reserves by as much as $1 billion to prepare for potential penalties related to its dealings with the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, analysts said. Story (for subscribers)


Tech sector: Britain’s competition watchdog on Wednesday ordered an in-depth investigation of PayPal Holdings Inc’s $2.2 billion takeover of Swedish financial technology startup iZettle, saying the U.S. group had not done enough to address its concerns. Story (for subscribers)

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