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Streetwise newsletter: Silicon Valley Bank closes in on Canada; marijuana producer to go public; big banks’ CEO compensation

A Bay Street sign is seen in Toronto’s financial district.

© Mark Blinch / Reuters

Here are the top reads,

New competitor: Silicon Valley Bank, catering to technology companies, has made major strides toward setting up shop in Canada, promising fresh competition in an already dynamic corner of the country's banking sector. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Pot sector: The biggest legal grower of cannabis in the state of Washington is going public in Canada this week, the latest in a wave of American marijuana businesses that are raising money north of the border. Story (Christina Pellegrini, for subscribers)

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Compensation: The chief executives at most of Canada's biggest banks received handsome pay raises in 2017 after delivering a year of surging profits with relatively few hiccups. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

Street moves: Brookfield Financial has lost another retirement-home banker, the second departure in less than six months. Story (Rachelle Younglai, for subscribers)

FINANCIAL SERVICES WRAP

Credit: Rising interest rates along with strong job growth has led to more uninsured mortgages and longer tenure of car loans, putting a strain on the lending quality of Canadian banks, Moody's Investor Service said in a report released on Tuesday. Story

Financial products: Some competitive jockeying by the big banks on credit- and debit-card fees makes this an ideal time to reconsider how you pay for things while travelling. Story (Rob Carrick)

Regulators: China is merging its banking and insurance regulators, giving new powers to policymaking bodies such as the central bank and creating new ministries in the biggest government shake-up in years. Story

DEAL WRAP

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Approval: Bayer on Tuesday secured conditional approval from China's commerce ministry for its planned acquisition of the world No. 1 seed company Monsanto, chalking up a victory in the onerous struggle to win over watchdogs across the globe. Story

Pet sector: So far this year, there has been at least US$8.3-billion worth of transactions, involving veterinary clinics in Australia and cat snacks in the Netherlands as well as pet insurance in the United States and canine raincoats in Italy. Story

Chip sector: Broadcom Ltd Chief Executive Hock Tan is unlikely to slow his acquisition spree after U.S. President Donald Trump blocked the microchip maker's US$117-billion bid for Qualcomm Inc on national security grounds, analysts said on Tuesday. Story

Canadian venture capital: VueReal Inc. has closed an initial closing of its US$10.5 million series A funding led by the venture arm of a large Asian company and a leading North American vendor focused on startups with emerging technology. Waterloo, Ontario based VueReal Inc. is a developer of key technologies for micro-LED displays. Private Capital Journal

U.S. venture capital: RapidAPI, an online marketplace where developers can discover application programming interfaces, has raised US$9 million in a series A round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from SV Angel, Green Bay Capital, and Nexmo CEO Tony Jamous. VentureBeat

WHAT WE'RE READING ELSEWHERE

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Hedge funds: Just over half of new funds last year used equity strategies, compared to 80 percent in 2015, according to Seward & Kissel. Institutional Investor

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Here is our annual Big Deals series about financing and investment banking.

Innovation: Data scientists, physicists, mathematicians and behavioural economists. Meet the new deal team. As buyout multiples have climbed and capital piles up in private investment funds, acquirers have been looking for a competitive edge in their hunt for acquisitions. For some firms, that has meant doing more advanced data analysis in an effort to better understand, value and integrate a business into their portfolio. And that is bringing computer science and M&A communities closer than ever. Story (Jacqueline Nelson, for subscribers)

Pot sector: It has been a busy six months of dealmaking for legal cannabis companies. The sector ended the last year with a bang after a quiet third quarter, as companies raised a record $900-million in equity in the last three months of 2017, according to data compiled by Canaccord Genuity Corp. Story (Christina Pellegrini, for subscribers)

Utilities: Canadian utilities and pipeline companies spent the past two years on an $80-billion shopping spree in the United States, their hunt aided by low interest rates and their own high-priced stocks. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Real estate: China's restrictions on foreign real estate purchases sharply slowed Chinese investment in Canadian offices, hotels and other large properties late last year – even before Beijing's dramatic seizure of Anbang Insurance Group, whose buying spree had driven up prices. Story (Rachelle Younglai, for subscribers)

Activists: At first glance, the latest data on activist investors make no sense. On one hand, there's never been more capital deployed by sharp-elbowed fund managers in their battles against public companies. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Deal machine: As Alberta's traditional corporate giants grapple with volatile oil and gas prices, a small but powerful company with roots in Red Deer is emerging as one of the province's future stars. In the span of three years, Parkland Fuel Corp. has become a dominant force in the retail gas market, now owning and operating more than 1,800 service stations across Canada. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Bought deals: Junior mining companies are increasingly turning to senior firms for capital, as traditional bought-deal financing becomes a riskier gambit in a difficult market for commodity plays. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

Bonds: The maple bond market rebounded last year to levels not seen in nearly a decade, as a flurry of foreign companies tapped the Canadian-dollar debt market for cash. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

Cross border: Canadian companies spent a good deal less money swallowing up foreign firms last year, but there are early hints they will be hungrier to do cross-border deals in 2018. Story (James Bradshaw, for subscribers)

The winners: Here are the Canadian Dealmakers award winners for 2017. Story

Rankings: Annual league tables for investment banking and M&A law firms Tables (for subscribers)

Deals: The largest mergers and acquisitions of 2017 Table

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