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Last week’s best reads: Budget, Libor, oil services

Canadian bank headquarters stand on Bay Street in Toronto.

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Federal budget measures aim to toughen money laundering rules

The federal government is taking steps to clean up Canada's act when it comes to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws, though details about the expected changes are scarce.

The federal budget released Wednesday includes a trio of proposed changes to anti-money laundering laws and regulations "to support a resilient financial sector." Story

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Face of Libor rate manipulation scandal cost RBC millions

A jailed former banker who became the face of the Libor rate manipulation scandal left behind faulty trading models and millions of dollars in losses when he quit his job at Royal Bank of Canada years earlier, a new book reveals.

Tom Hayes, a former trader at UBS AG and Citigroup Inc., was one of the only bankers sent to prison for crimes stemming from the global financial crisis. He helped mastermind the manipulation of an interest-rate benchmark that affects trillions of dollars of loans, mortgages and derivatives contracts around the world. An international investigation started in 2012 revealed widespread manipulation by multiple banks, which were slapped with billions of dollars in fines. Story

Oil-services party comes to a quick end

All was right with the energy world as the new year dawned, no more so than in the bruised oil-field service sector.

The industry finally looked like it was emerging from two years of slashing rates, reporting losses and cutting staff. Oh, to return to those innocent days of late December.

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Oil and gas prices had climbed and energy-company clients fattened their drilling budgets, prompting oil-service providers to call idled crews back to work. Private-equity investors even readied the apparatus to take companies public. Story

Geoff Beattie, Ed Sonshine stepping down as RBC directors

Geoff Beattie and Ed Sonshine are stepping down as board members at Royal Bank of Canada.

In a recent regulatory filing, RBC disclosed that Mr. Beattie and Mr. Sonshine, directors since 2001 and 2008, respectively, are not standing for re-election at the bank's annual meeting next month.

"On behalf of the board, we thank Geoff Beattie and Ed Sonshine for their years of dedicated service as directors," RBC wrote in the filing.

"Mr. Beattie and Mr. Sonshine left in accordance with our tenure guidelines," an RBC spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail on Friday. Story

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Dominion Diamond in play following Washington Cos. takeover proposal

Dominion Diamond Corp. is expected to attract interest from the world's largest diamond miners after being put in play Sunday by a $1.1-billion [U.S.] hostile takeover proposal from conglomerate The Washington Companies.

Yellowknife-based Dominion owns stakes in the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines in the Northwest Territories, and caught the eye of the private Montana-based company controlled by billionaire Dennis Washington, who made his fortune in construction and now owns tugboats, trains and copper mines. Story

Canada joins China-backed Asian infrastructure bank

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has made Canada a prospective member, welcoming Ottawa into an institution that marks one of China's leading efforts to take a place of global leadership.

Joining the bank will give Canada a voice at the table of a major new multinational organization, although with less voting clout than it might have wielded had it moved earlier, alongside 57 founding members.

Instead, Canada on Thursday joined Afghanistan, Ireland, Ethiopia and nine others accepted in a second membership round. Story

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