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

Idaho state regulator rejects Hydro One’s proposed $4.4-billion acquisition of Avista: A state regulator in Idaho dealt another blow to Hydro One Ltd.’s proposed $4.4-billion acquisition of Avista Corp., rejecting the deal because of a “lack of independence” between the Ontario utility and the provincial government. Story (David Ebner, for subscribers)

Drug sector: Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Thursday it would buy Celgene Corp for about $74 billion, combining two of the world’s largest cancer-drug businesses in the biggest pharmaceutical deal ever. Story

Hudson’s Bay: An entity controlled by Hudson’s Bay Co Chairman Richard Baker will buy the stake owned by a unit of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board in the Canadian retailer, according to L&T B Cayman Inc, a top shareholder in Hudson’s Bay and a joint buyer. Story


Market volatility likely to make 2019 a lukewarm year for IPOs: The volatility that roiled commodity and financial markets in the final months of 2018 is casting a cloud of uncertainty over the market for initial public offerings in the year ahead. A slowdown in capital raising by the resource sector made 2018 a tepid year for IPOs, with 15 companies raising $1.74-billion via IPOs as of mid-December. That compares with 23 IPOs raising $4.76-billion over the course of 2017, according to data from Refinitiv. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Economic uncertainty threatens to stall M&A activity: Unpredictability on the trade and economic fronts threatens to temper Canadian merger and acquisition activity in 2019, as corporate buyers reassess the risks of making big deals. The deal flow hit a record in the third quarter of 2018, and there is still keen interest in corporate purchases, with more than US$1-trillion in private capital seeking opportunities globally. However, some deal-making veterans question how much support public markets in Canada have for major transactions, in the form of putting up capital, after a year in which major stock indexes declined. Story (Jeffrey Jones and Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Canadian bank stocks have seldom looked this enticing: Add Canadian banks to the long list of stocks that delivered dismal returns in 2018. But some encouraging developments have emerged from the sell-off: Valuations are low and dividend yields have risen to 4.6 per cent on average, pointing to a good buying opportunity right now. Story (David Berman, for subscribers)

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