Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

These are stories Report on Business is following Thursday, April 19, 2012. Get the top business stories through the day on BlackBerry or iPhone by bookmarking our mobile-friendly webpage.

Follow Michael Babad and Globe top business news on Twitter

Canada to hold onto triple-A Strategists at Citigroup Inc. expect the number of triple-A-rated-countries to shrink over the next few years, but that Canada will hold onto its cherished designation.

Story continues below advertisement

Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service will further downgrade several euro zone nations, and put France up for review of its triple-A rating, Michael Saunders and Mark Schofield said in a report.

And they see a "shrinking pool" of triple-A-rated countries over the next two to three years:

"Only Canada, Germany, the U.K., Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the Australasian economies will probably retain this status among major economies. The U.K. has the weakest fiscal outlook of these triple-A countries, and we expect that S&P will put the U.K. on negative ratings outlook over the next two to three years. It would not be a great surprise if the U.K. was also downgraded one notch at some stage."

In their separate report on Canada, economist Dana Peterson and strategist Brett Rose cite the fiscal and political stability, and believe that the ratings agencies "will likely retain Canada's triple-A status in both the near and long term."

Citigroup noted the buget plans for the federal and provincial governments, and the better fiscal outlook at the federal level, putting Canada "well ahead of schedule" on its G20 pledge to cut the deficit by half by next year and cut overall debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016.

"Much of the savings are anticipated to come from restrained government program spending as well as moderately improved Canadian economic prospects," Citigroup said of the federal and provincial picture.

"These actions may place additional drag on real output this year, but should be favourable for the Canadian economy over the longer term."

Story continues below advertisement

Bets on Carney Mark Carney says he's not in the race to replace Mervyn King as governor of the Bank of England, but the bookies don't necessarily see it that way.

The Bank of Canada governor said yesterday that a Financial Times report that he was informally approached about the job was inaccurate, and that he's going to focus on his current two positions as central bank chief and head of the global Financial Stability Board.

Still, the website of Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker, was giving Mr. Carney 10-1 odds this morning of taking over from Mr. King.

Banks beat forecasts Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley both beat analysts estimates on first-quarter results today, though their earnings slipped.

Bank of America earned $653-million or 3 cents a share, compared to $2.1-billion or 17 cents a year earlier, though the latest numbers were hit by hefty charges. Revenue sliped 17 per cent.

Morgan Stanley, in turn, swung to a loss of $119-million or 6 cents a share, from a profit of $736-million or 50 cents a year earlier, also taking an accounting hit.

Story continues below advertisement

Garda slips You've got to hand it to Garda World Security Corp.

In annual earnings report today, the Canadian security firm highlighted its "flawless integration of new business start-ups in U.S. Cash Logistics," integration of an acquisition, new markets in southern Iraq and Afghanistan, the relocation of offices in Dubai and Florida, the "ability of our people and platforms to generate solid profitable results," a "major contract win" for 14 Canadian airports, and a second half that was "nothing short of spectacular."

And a slide in profit to $21.6-million from $28.6-million. (Adjusted profit slipped to $23-million because of higher depreciation and finance costs."

Jobless claims fall The number of Canadians collecting regular jobless benefits declined in February, notably in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.

Having climbed by 2.3% per cent in January, the number declined by 1.2 per cent two months ago to almost 553,000, Statistics Canada said today.

The number of initial and renewal claims also fell, by 2.5 per cent, with Quebec alone accounting for the bulk of the decrease on that measure.

Story continues below advertisement

On an annual basis, the agency said, most of Canada's major cities are seeing a decline in those receiving regular benefits under the Employment Insurance system.

In the United States, there are still signs of extreme trouble on the jobs front. Initial claims for benefits fell last week by 2,000, while the previous week's numbers were revised higher. A better measure is the four-week moving average, which rose by more than 5,000 to the highest since late January.

Silver not likely to repeat 2011 Record levels of silver investment demand, focused mostly on the physical metal, coins and bars, drove average prices for the metal to record highs last year, although a repeat performance is not likely in 2012, The Globe and Mail's Pav Jordan reports today.

According to the World Silver Survey 2012, average price for the metal that is best known for its use in jewellery and coins was $35.12 (U.S.) per ounce last year.

Business ticker

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies