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CIBC chief on richer bid for PrivateBanCorp; Caisse deputy heeds 'calling'

The head of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce made his case to shareholders Thursday for the proposed $4.9-billion (U.S.) purchase of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp Inc., a week after hiking the offer price by 20 per cent.

Chief executive officer Victor Dodig sought to reassure investors that he expects the transaction to close within months, allowing CIBC to start executing its long-awaited U.S. expansion plans. In prepared remarks at the bank's annual meeting in Ottawa, he said that, even though CIBC has had to dig deeper into its coffers in the hope of sealing the deal, there is still room for PrivateBank, as it is known, to grow.

"The PrivateBank is a good bank," Mr. Dodig told shareholders. "We believe it will be an even better bank with CIBC's credit rating, technology and financial strength." Story

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Caisse deputy heeds 'calling' in move to join French politics

The chief investment officer of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has left his post to join the political campaign of centrist French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, saying he could not sit idly and watch his native country potentially fall into the hands of the extreme right.

Roland Lescure described his decision to switch gears at the age of 50 as "a calling" that became progressively clearer in his mind after the shocks of Britain voting to leave the European Union and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. He said he sees both events as a victory of fear over hope, of simple solutions over the profound thinking necessary in a complex world. Story

Barrick's Argentina deal furthers Peter Munk's dream of close China ties

Barrick Gold Corp. chairman John Thornton is closer to fulfilling company founder Peter Munk's dream of aligning the Canadian gold miner with China.

Barrick has formed its second so-called strategic partnership with a Chinese company, with a deal to sell half of a top Argentinian mine to state-owned Shandong Gold Group for $960-million (U.S.) and a promise to work together on the mothballed Pascua Lama project in South America.

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Unlike Barrick's first Chinese union with Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd., the Shandong deal is three times larger and required the 50-per-cent sale of one of Barrick's key mines, Veladero. Story

DAILY DEALS

Sunoco LP said on Thursday it would sell 1,110 convenience stores to Japan's Seven & i Holdings Co for $3.3 billion as the Texas-based company shifts its focus to its fuel supply business. Story (Reuters)

Music-streaming service Spotify AB is readying an initial public offering that is expected by year-end. The rub is this: It may not really be an IPO. Story (WSJ, subscription required)

ELSEWHERE IN FINANCE

Canadian securities regulators are launching a project to reduce the "regulatory burden" on publicly listed companies, proposing measures such as semi-annual reporting of financial results instead of quarterly reporting. Story

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In a private meeting with lawmakers, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said he supports a policy that could radically reshape Wall Street's biggest firms by separating their consumer-lending businesses from their investment banks, said people with direct knowledge of the matter. Story

Barney Frank is puzzled. The former Massachusetts congressman says that President Trump is vowing to roll back financial regulations that even some of the biggest players in the banking industry have quietly come to tolerate. Story (New York Times)

In her quest to help Britain "embrace the world," U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has been glad-handing in Saudi Arabia this week. One thing she likely hopes to do is lure Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, to London for its hotly anticipated IPO. The presence of the London Stock Exchange's CEO in her delegation at least suggests the thought has crossed her mind. Story (Bloomberg)

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