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

TD Bank to pay $1-billion to be lead partner in Air Canada’s takeover of Aeroplan: Toronto-Dominion Bank is betting heavily on the success of Air Canada’s takeover of the Aeroplan loyalty program, committing to $1-billion worth of upfront payments and future expenses as the lead financial partner. Air Canada and its takeover partners – TD, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Visa Canada Corp. – won a battle in August to acquire Aeroplan from Aimia Inc. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Analysts expect strong results from Canada’s banks. Will investors care?: Canada’s biggest banks will report their fiscal fourth quarter results starting this week, and analysts are expecting a strong finish to the year. But given the stock market is dominated by concerns over slowing economic activity, will investors care? Story (David Berman, for subscribers)

Oil sands woes to take focus in Big Six earning reports: Alberta’s energy rout is expected to be front and centre as Canada’s biggest banks report their fourth-quarter earnings over the next two weeks. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Fairfax Financial stands to gain as Greek banks announce merger plans: Two of Greece’s largest financial institutions announced merger plans on Monday in a deal that better positions major shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. for a rebound in the Greek economy. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Canadian firms object to influence of proxy advisers: Canadian companies that have complained about what they say is the undue influence of proxy advisers could get a boost from U.S. legislation that could rein them in. Proxy advisers offer opinions to their clients, typically big institutional investors, on the measures companies send to their shareholders for a vote. Often, there’s not much controversy. But the firms, such as Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), have developed their own guidelines for what constitutes effective corporate governance and appropriate executive pay − and when companies run afoul of those guidelines, the firms recommend their clients vote “no” on company proposals. Many companies don’t like that much, at all. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)


The Globe and Mail’s comprehensive ranking of Canada’s corporate boards: For the 17th year in a row, Report on Business has rated the work of Canada’s corporate boards using a rigorous set of governance criteria designed to go far beyond minimum mandatory rules imposed by regulators. Tables (for subscribers)

How we ranked Canada’s corporate boards: Methodology

Growing up: Cannabis firms fall short on corporate governance: After months of focusing on how to grow marijuana, publicly-traded pot producers are facing a new problem: how to grow up. One of the key next steps in the industry’s evolution from outlaw business to legal industry is to bolster corporate governance – the set of best practices in how a board manages a corporation, and the disclosures that let investors know it’s being done right. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Why three of Canada’s Big Cannabis firms scored low on corporate governance rankings: Explainer


Deposits: Competition for deposits among Canada’s biggest banks is heating up for the first time since the global financial crisis, leading to higher funding costs that could crimp profit growth in their domestic businesses over the next two years, analysts say. Story


Utilities sector: Emera Inc said on Monday it will sell three of its natural gas-fired power plants in New England to Carlyle Group for US$590-million, as part of its efforts to cut debt. Story (for subscribers)

Tech sector: Shopify Inc. says it has acquired Swedish e-commerce company Tictail. Story (for subscribers)

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