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Streetwise Streetwise newsletter: The week’s best reads: Acasta, Fiera, TMX, AutoCanada

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

Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail

Here are the top reads from the week. Have a great weekend,

SPACS: The Acasta disaster: How a SPAC went splat Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Wealth management: Fiera Capital Corp. continues to move forward with plans to beef up its asset management division announcing its second acquisition this year. Story (Clare O'Hara)

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Cryptocurrencies: The owner of Canada's oldest stock exchange, TMX Group Ltd., is launching a cryptocurrency platform that will bring the 166-year-old marketplace into the brave new world for bitcoin and other digital currencies. Story (Andrew Willis and Alexandra Posadzki)

Cross-border acquisition: AutoCanada Inc., making its first foray into the U.S. market, has purchased a dealership group that includes stores it is not permitted to own in Canada. Story (Greg Keenan)

Deal skeptic: A short-seller is raising red flags over Aphria Inc.'s purchase of Nuuvera Inc., adding to pressure on their shares just a day before a deal marrying the two marijuana companies is to close. Story (Christina Pellegrini, for subscribers)

Street moves: Bank of Nova Scotia's capital markets arm has hired Mark Mulroney for a senior position, one created to help manage key client relationships. Story (Tim Kiladze, for subscribers)

Financing: Three of North America's top early stage venture funds have committed to lead a US$10-million-plus financing of CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based collectibles game that allows users to buy, sell and "breed" digital cats. Story (Alexandra Posadzki and Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

Tech sector acquisition: Vision Critical Communications Inc. used to suffer from a double-vision problem – until a year ago, when director and one-time CEO Angus Reid cashed out of the firm his son Andrew founded in the early 2000s, ending a tumultuous chapter of clashing leadership and governance for the Vancouver marketing-software firm. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

Weaknesses and gaps: A consumer watchdog probing bank sales practices found "insufficient" controls to prevent mis-selling to clients, but did not discover evidence of widespread misconduct. Story (James Bradshaw)

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Reaction: A federal agency has stripped away any remaining pretense that banks are trustworthy providers of advice, assistance, guidance, help or anything else along those lines. Opinion (Rob Carrick)

Takeover approval: The delayed $1.5-billion takeover of Aecon Group Inc. by China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. will likely face more hurdles and could fall apart, according to analyst Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital Inc. Story (David Ebner; for subscribers)

Financial advisors: Ontario regulators are working to implement a new action plan designed to better protect seniors when it comes to investment matters. Story (Clare O'Hara)

Street moves: Prominent portfolio manager Dennis Mitchell has re-emerged in the investment industry as the new head of Starlight Investments' real estate securities arm. Story (Clare O'Hara and Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Energy sector: Gibson Energy Inc. has sold its U.S. environmental services businesses for $125-million, clearing the way for the energy infrastructure company to expand its Canadian oil and gas storage system. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

Credit risk: A leading Canadian bank economist is pouring cold water on a recent report that sounded alarms about mounting cred risks to Canada's banking system. Story (James Bradshaw)

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Mining sector: Shares in struggling Canadian junior gold producer Klondex Mines Ltd. surged after U.S.-based Hecla Mining Co. announced it intends to pay a premium of almost 80 per cent to acquire the company in a transaction worth US$462-million. Story (Niall McGee, for subscribers)

Regulators: The year 2018 was promised as the time that Canada's patchwork system of provincial securities regulators would be consolidated under a single regulatory body. But as the summer deadline for implementing the necessary legislation inches closer, and amid the looming uncertainty stemming from an ongoing Supreme Court case, industry observers are questioning the feasibility of the proposed timeline. Some are wondering whether the initiative will come to fruition at all. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)


Private equity: Canadian financier Newton Glassman has long told his private equity firm's clients that his big bet on casinos would yield a financial jackpot. Others haven't been so sure. Story

Compensation: Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein saw his overall compensation rise 9 per cent, despite the investment bank's lackluster performance in 2017. Story

Insider buying: Contrarian buying at Gluskin Sheff + Associates Story (Ted Dixon, for subscribers)

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Strategic review: Executives of DHX Media told its annual shareholders meeting in Halifax that they expect a strategic review of its options to be complete by June 30, at the end of its fiscal fourth-quarter and 2018 financial year. Story

Rumours: There is no truth to a report of merger talks between retailers Target Corp and Kroger Co , a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. Story

Gaming sector: Once a Las Vegas titan, Steve Wynn no longer has any stock in Wynn Resorts after selling on Thursday the remainder of his stake in the company he founded in 2002 and with which he built opulent casino-resorts in the nation's gambling mecca and abroad. Story

Drug sector: GlaxoSmithKline has withdrawn from the race to buy Pfizer's consumer health care business, the British drugs company said on Friday, endangering an auction for an asset some said could fetch as much as US$20-billion. Story

IPOs: Dropbox Inc's shares closed at US$28.42, up more than 35 per cent in their first day of trading on Friday, as investors rushed to buy into the biggest technology initial public offering in more than a year even as the wider sector languished. Story

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