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Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last week. Have a great weekend.

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Raptors’ ascent proves to be winning move for MLSE’s telecom owners: It was an odd partnership with his biggest rival that brought lifelong basketball fan George Cope to Oracle Arena on Thursday night, when he and Edward Rogers celebrated on the court with the Toronto Raptors. Story (Christine Dobby, for subscribers)

Raptors’ owners score big as NBA title adds millions in value to team: The Raptors’ magical spring, which culminated in their first title on Thursday night, captivated the country. It also means money, and lots of it. Winning alters the value of a sports franchise, often permanently. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Turnaround trap: Why it’s so hard for companies to change course: HBC’s Richard Baker says a private company is the right structure for a business that needs “significant time and patient long-term capital” to improve.The idea has merit. Yet there’s also a reality that cannot be ignored: No matter the form of ownership, corporate turnarounds often fail. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Quebec real estate investment firm Group Mach makes its bid for Transat: Montreal real-estate investment firm Group Mach Inc. says its unsolicited proposal to buy airline and tour operator Transat A.T. Inc. amounts to a non-binding offer at this stage, which means it is not subject to Canadian securities laws mandating firm financing for a deal. Story (Nicolas Van Praet, for subscribers)

Street Capital up for sale as rules squeeze mortgage lenders: Mortgage lender Street Capital Group Inc. is for sale as it struggles to raise money and faces pressure from the country’s banking regulator to find a solution, according to multiple people familiar with the process. Story (James Bradshaw and Janet McFarland, for subscribers)

Panel report calls for climate-driven refit of financial sector: Canada’s banks and other financial institutions need to overhaul their business practices to reflect the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change, a federal advisory panel said in a report on Friday. As part of that, the financial sector needs to step up its support for efforts by the oil and gas industry to invest in technology that reduces its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to demand that companies fully disclose in their financial reports the risks and opportunities that will arise from global warming, the report concluded. Story (Shawn McCarthy, for subscribers)

'Lobby is on the wrong side of this issue’: CMHC head takes on real estate industry with defence of mortgage stress tests: Canada would need a “calamity” in the housing market to warrant adjusting the mortgage stress test, which is helping affordability, according to the head of Canada’s national housing agency. Evan Siddall, chief executive officer of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said in an interview Monday that he became a passionate defender of the tougher mortgage qualification rule because he felt no one else was publicly standing up to support the federal program against criticisms from groups working in the real estate sector. Story (Janet McFarland and James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

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Bank of Nova Scotia serves up credit cards that save travellers money: A big bank has found it’s good business to help customers avoid one of the sneakiest credit card fees of them all. Starting Aug. 1, Bank of Nova Scotia will offer a second credit card for retail clients that does not charge the usual 2.5-per-cent markup on purchases made in foreign currencies. The revamped Scotia Gold American Express card will join the popular Scotia Passport Visa Infinite card, which was launched in March, 2018. Opinion (Rob Carrick, for subscribers)

Pension funds tout rewards of active investing: The active investing approach used by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board appears to be paying off, adding nearly $50-billion to the fund’s asset base over the past 12 years, according to an analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO). Since shifting away from a passive indexing strategy in 2006, the CPPIB has since invested heavily in alternative markets and private equity, building up large stakes in things such as office towers, toll highways and shopping centres around the world. Story (Tim Shufelt, for subscribers)

Is Indigo another candidate to go private?: At the end of May, Indigo Books & Music Inc. announced a loss of almost $37-million for the year ended March of 2019, and the stock promptly tanked 20 per cent on heavy volume. Chief executive officer Heather Reisman said the company had incurred significant expenses associated with store renovations and relocations, compounded by the Canada Post strike. Same-store sales were down 1.1 per cent, and the sole U.S. location is “going to do okay, but it is not knocking it out of the park.” Story (Robert Tattersall)

Startup airlines say consolidation will mean higher prices: The head of a Vancouver-based startup airline says the proposed takeovers in the Canadian aviation industry will bolster the country’s two dominant players and drive up ticket prices for travellers. Story (Eric Atkins, for subscribers)

Bay Street Deconstructed: A lesson in improving financial literacy and knowledge of finance careers: “Does anyone know what Bay Street means?” “It’s a street in downtown Toronto,” shouts a student from the front of the cafeteria. The response gets a room full of laughter among 90 Grade 10 students at Martingrove Collegiate Institute in west-end Toronto, who are attending an afternoon session on financial literacy. But the answer reflects the growing concern among educators, policy-makers and politicians across the country about the lack of financial education within Canada’s secondary schools. Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

Toronto’s Wave Financial purchased by H&R Block for $537-million: Toronto accounting software firm Wave Financial Inc. has been purchased by tax services giant H&R Block, Inc. for US$405 million ($537 million). It’s the latest in a string of “exits” – takeovers or IPOs – of venture-backed Canadian firms this year that have commanded relatively large valuations by historical standards, a sign that Canada’s surging early-stage tech sector is maturing. Story (Sean Silcoff)

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Ottawa AI startup MindBridge secures $29.6-million in federal and venture capital financing: An Ottawa startup that is using artificial intelligence to transform how auditors and financial regulators unearth fraud and irregularities has secured $29.6-million in venture capital and government funding. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

FSRA to oversee insurance, mortgage and deposit taking institutions in Ontario: A new independent financial regulator is up and running in Ontario to oversee insurance, mortgage and deposit taking institutions. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) assumed regulatory duties on June 8, replacing both the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corp. of Ontario (DICO). Story (Clare O’Hara, for subscribers)

Bombardier’s sale of CRJ program would be a sad ending to a Canadian success story: If you ask the average Canadian on the street today to name the country’s best invention ever, he or she would probably say basketball. But long before the Toronto Raptors became NBA contenders, and before the BlackBerry took the title, there was the Canadair Regional Jet. Bombardier’s CRJ may not have saved millions of lives the way insulin, another Canadian invention, has. But it did thrust Canada into the major leagues of the global civil aviation industry and transformed air travel in the 1990s. Opinion (Konrad Yakabuski, for subscribers)

New market player offers zero management fee ETFs - but outperformance will come at a cost: A new ETF issuer joined the industry during May with a suite of alternative ETFs. Accelerate Financial Technologies’ mission is to “democratize alternative investments by offering institutional-caliber hedge fund and private equity strategies in low-cost, liquid and easy to use ETFs accessible by any investor.” Instead of charging a management fee, each ETF has a performance fee over their high-water mark or its respective benchmark. Story (Kimberly Yip Woon Sun)

This is what scares people when choosing a financial adviser: What people fear most when choosing an adviser is selfishness - someone who puts their own interests ahead of the client. Right on, investors. There are plenty of advisers who put clients first, but you can’t take that to the bank. Too many recommend products and actions that benefit them and their firms, primarily. Column (Rob Carrick, for subscribers)

Cannabis firm Beleave acknowledges participation in securities scam: Ontario cannabis producer Beleave Inc. has admitted to participating in a scam that saw the company shuffle $7.5-million into the pockets of “consultants” who are at the heart of the BridgeMark Group penny stock scandal, currently under investigation in British Columbia. Story (Mark Rendell, for subscribers)

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Quebec regulator drops last action against former Amaya CEO: Quebec’s securities watchdog has ended a five-year, multipronged inquiry into what has become known as the Amaya affair without having won sanctions against anyone involved, closing the book on its part in what was one of Canada’s biggest insider-trading cases. Story (Nicolas Van Praet and Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Toronto’s Intelex Technologies acquired by Pittsburgh’s Industrial Scientific for $570-million: For the second time in two weeks, a leading Toronto-based software company in the environmental health, safety and quality audit business has been sold to a U.S. buyer. Story (Sean Silcoff)


Sprint and T-Mobile merger approval, said to be near, could undercut challenge by states: The Justice Department is moving closer to approving T-Mobile’s US$26 billion merger with Sprint, but only if the companies sell multiple assets to create a new wireless competitor, according to three people familiar with the plan. Story (New York Times)

London Metal Exchange bars open-outcry traders from daytime drinking: The London Metal Exchange has banned open-outcry traders from consuming alcohol during the day, it said on Friday, joining other London firms in halting a culture of boozy lunches. Story (Reuters, for subscribers)

Barnes & Noble received no other bids ahead of hedge fund’s deadline: Barnes & Noble Inc. said on Friday it had not received any other offers from prospective bidders before Elliott Management’s “keep-shop” deadline. Story (Reuters, for subscribers)

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