(Illustration: Camille Charbonneau)
THE ESSENTIAL NEWS
• SoftBank’s Arm is set to debut on Nasdaq after a blockbuster IPO. SoftBank-owned chip designer Arm Holdings is expected to debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday, in what is expected to be the biggest test for U.S. IPOs after nearly 16 months of absence.
• The deadline for the strike at the three Detroit factories is approaching, with little hope of an agreement in sight. U.S. automakers and union negotiators offered little hope of reaching an agreement Thursday to avoid a midnight walkout that would be the United Auto Workers’ first simultaneous strike against Detroit’s three automakers.
• TD Bank’s US head says money laundering investigation ‘manageable’. The U.S. investigation into Toronto-Dominion Bank’s anti-money laundering compliance program is “manageable,” the bank’s head of U.S. retail operations said Wednesday.
• The Laurentian Bank of Canada declares having completed the examination of its strategic options. Laurentian Bank of Canada said it has completed its previously announced review of strategic options, and is now focused on simplifying its organizational structure.
• A failure in an Australian Chevron factory, affected by a strike, leads to the shutdown of 25% of production. An outage at Chevron’s Wheatstone site in Australia temporarily halted about a quarter of its liquefied natural gas production, the same day workers’ unions were set to step up their strike action.
TRENDS BEFORE OPENING
Futures contracts for Canada’s main stock index rose as crude oil prices hit their highest level in 2023, which should boost underlying stocks. Growing optimism about a pause in interest rate hikes in September sent U.S. stock index futures higher as investors prepared for Arm Holdings’ IPO. European stocks edged higher as brokers were cautious ahead of the European Central Bank’s decision to raise interest rates for the tenth consecutive time. Japan’s Nikkei stock average hit its highest closing level in a week, after the U.S. inflation report boosted sentiment. Gold held near three-week lows, while the US dollar fell ahead of retail sales and the producer price index due to be released later in the day.
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HEADLINES TO FOLLOW
• First Quantum Minerals: Members of Panama’s Congress will tour the company’s copper mine next week, as a vote looms on a contract that would guarantee the government an annual income of $375 million, a lawmaker said Wednesday. The contract is a hot topic in Panama, with the opposition denouncing the environmental impact and permits to expand operations. Juan Diego Vasquez, a member of the Congressional Trade Committee in charge of consultations on the contract, told Reuters that the visit was scheduled for Tuesday, adding that he wanted to postpone it for another day so that more officials could attend. The Cortizo administration and the Canadian miner agreed on the final text of a contract to operate the Cobre Panama copper mine in March. Boyd told Reuters at the time that he was confident the text would receive the green light from the authorities.
• Laurentian Bank of Canada: The bank said it had completed a review of its strategic options, and was now focusing on simplifying its organizational structure. “The Board of Directors, with the support of the management team, unanimously concluded that the best path forward is an accelerated evolution of its current strategic plan, emphasizing efficiency and simplification,” he said. declared the Laurentian Bank. The country’s ninth-largest bank launched the review in July with the aim of maximizing shareholder value and said at the time that it was performing better than its financial targets despite an increasingly difficult macroeconomic environment and a backdrop of volatile earnings. markets. Laurentian said it considered several options during the review process, including acquiring the entire bank and divesting certain businesses.
• TMX Group: Canada’s top exchange operator is urging companies seeking to list on its platform to accelerate their plans, a senior exchange official said, citing an uncertain economy and next year’s U.S. presidential election as factors at risk. Dean McPherson, CEO of TMX Global Mining, told Reuters that macroeconomic issues such as inflation and the war between Ukraine and Russia are keeping capital on the sidelines, while the 2024 U.S. presidential election is expected add to the uncertainty. The CEO said TMX has advised companies seeking to list that the “window of opportunity” for initial public offerings, when it opens, could be a short window of three to six months rather than a year. Increased volatility and increased interest have prevented companies from raising money on TMX, with IPOs falling 78% to C$415 million between July 2022 and July 2023, according to TMX data . IPOs on the smaller TSX Venture Exchange fell 94% during the same period.
• Toronto-Dominion Bank: A US investigation rates the bank’s anti-money laundering program as “manageable”, its head of US retail operations said. TD, Canada’s second-largest lender, revealed in August that it was cooperating with U.S. authorities, including the U.S. Department of Justice, in an investigation and said it expected fines and to non-pecuniary penalties. Leo Salom, chief executive of TD Bank’s U.S. unit, said the disclosure was not related to the termination of the $13.4 billion deal to buy regional U.S. lender First Horizon in May . The bank canceled the deal due to uncertainty over the timing of regulatory approvals, Salom told a Barclays conference.
• Vital Energy: The company has signed deals worth about $1.17 billion to expand its holdings in the Permian Basin, where deals are accelerating as drillers tap the U.S.’s largest oil patch to replenish quickly their reserves are exhausted. The deal will increase the company’s current production by about 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), Vital said. The deals announced Wednesday, with Henry Energy and Henry Resources subsidiaries Tall City Property Holdings III and Maple Energy Holdings, are expected to close during the fourth quarter, Vital said. They will be financed by a combination of sales of shares and securities, and borrowings.