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

Why a Barrick takeover of Newmont would do little for gold investors: Many people have described Barrick Gold Corp.’s hostile takeover offer for Newmont Mining Corp. as audacious. A better word might be “unnecessary.” Unnecessary, that is, from an investor’s perspective. Story (Ian McGugan, for subscribers)

International banking expansion helps BMO and Scotiabank push through volatile first quarter: Robust expansion in international banking helped two of Canada’s largest banks battle through volatility in financial markets in the first fiscal quarter, offsetting difficult conditions for capital markets and wealth management. In a challenging quarter, Bank of Nova Scotia posted a 17-per-cent rise in profit from international banking, compared with a year earlier. But a 4-per-cent decline in overall year-over-year profit still disappointed investors as the bank grapples with higher expenses while juggling a string of recent acquisitions and divestitures across a number of countries. By contrast, Bank of Montreal impressed Bay Street, boosting adjusted profit for the quarter that ended Jan. 31 by 8 per cent. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

The 10 top-performing Canadian equity analysts – and their stock picks for 2019: With thousands of analyst recommendations published every day, the key question for investors is: how do you know who to trust? TipRanks is a website that tracks and ranks analyst recommendations. Investors can skip recommendations from underperforming analysts, and focus exclusively on best-performing analysts with a proven track record of success. Using this data, TipRanks has now published a list of the best-performing Canada-focused stock pickers right now. Story (for subscribers)

Board appointments of women drop to lowest number in five years: The proportion of women appointed to Canadian corporate boards in 2018 fell sharply to the lowest figure in five years, raising the question of whether the drive to increase gender diversity at the director level has stalled. Story (David Milstead, for subscribers)

Battle of the banks: Head offices reach for the skies: The Big Six banks occupy some of Canada’s most iconic towers, but they’re not content to maintain the status quo - many are moving their headquarters or expanding into new signature spaces. Story

MORE FINANCIAL SERVICES NEWS

Earnings: Thomson Reuters Corp. reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday, helping push its shares to a record high, and said it is continuing to look for acquisitions to bolster its legal and tax and accounting units, where demand is up in part because of U.S. tax reforms. Story (for subscribers)

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