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TMCNet:  Business News as of 6 p.m. ET

[November 19, 2012]

Business News as of 6 p.m. ET

(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Monday, Nov. 19@ 6 p.m. ET BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of 6 p.m. ET. All times are Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change as news develops.


Queries should be addressed to the business desk at 416-507-2138. To reach CP Business by email, send messages to business(at)thecanadianpress.com.

___ TOP BUSINESS NEWS THIS HOUR ___ New Astral deal to address CRTC concerns: BCE BCE-Astral MONTREAL _ BCE Inc. expects that its new proposal to buy Astral Media will address the federal regulator's concern about the telecom giant dominating the television market.Bell's chief regulatory officer Mirko Bibic wouldn't comment Monday on the possible sale of any radio or TV assets owned by Montreal's Astral to make the deal work. But Bibic said the new $3.38-billion proposal to buy Astral (TSX:ACM.A) will address the CRTC's concern about market dominance. PHOTO. Moves Business and National ___ Jana seeks to install 5 new Agrium directors Agrium-Shareholders CALGARY _ It's looking likely that a push for change at Canadian fertilizer giant Agrium Inc. will come down to a shareholder vote, the founder of New York hedge fund Jana Partners LLC said Monday.Barry Rosenstein made his remarks to The Canadian Press after his fund, which has a six per cent stake in Agrium, announced it wants to replace five directors on Agrium's (TSX:AGU) 11-member board with its own nominees. PHOTO.

__ Loonie considered for elite global club Loonie-Global-Currency OTTAWA _ The high-flying Canadian loonie may soon be joining the elite club of global reserve currencies.The International Monetary Fund signalled in a new report it is considering asking foreign countries to report their holdings of Canadian and Australian dollars separately, which would technically make them global reserve currencies. Moves Business and National __ Lowe's still eyeing Canadian acquisition US-Earns-Lowe's NEW YORK _ Lowe's says it's still considering an acquisition to expand its presence in Canada, but it isn't naming a specific target company.The U.S. home improvement retailer had attempted to acquire Quebec-based Rona through a $1.8-billion deal but retreated in September in the face of staunch opposition from Rona's board and Quebec politicians. PHOTO.

Canada needs to up its energy game: Prentice Canada-US-Business OTTAWA _ Canada is a weak player in the "global energy game" and needs to improve its performance by selling more oil to China and Asia, warns one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's most trusted former cabinet ministers. "For Canada, that is obviously where the future has to be," said Jim Prentice, a senior banking executive who used to hold the industry and environment portfolios in the Conservative government. PHOTO. Moves Business and National; Will be writethru ___ WestJet Encore set to cut fares: CEO WestJet-Saretsky MONTREAL _ WestJet's new regional service will spur passenger demand by offering fares at up to half the amount charged on those routes by monopoly operators such as Air Canada, chief executive Gregg Saretsky said Monday."Vive la competition (long live competition)," the head of the Calgary-based airline (TSX:WJA) told the Canadian Club in Montreal.

__ Ontario poised for modest economic rebound Economy-Provinces OTTAWA _ Ontario's fragile economy is hanging in against a double-barrel dose of austerity from the federal and provincial governments and may be poised for a modest rebound, the Conference Board said Monday.The Ottawa-based think-tank's provincial outlook has the resource-rich western provinces, particularly Alberta and Saskatchewan, continuing to lead the country in growth this year and through 2014. PHOTO.

___ Pacific Rubiales to acquire C&C Energia Pacific-Rubiales CALGARY _ Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. has agreed to acquire C&C Energia Ltd. in a deal that will create a larger Colombia-focused oil and gas explorer.Under the deal announced Monday, each C&C (TSX:CZE) share will be exchanged for 0.3528 Pacific Rubiales shares, for a total value of $7.81 per share, or about $500 million.

___ BUZZ ___ Apple climbs after share sell-off called 'insane' US-TEC-Apple-Stock NEW YORK _ Shares of Apple jumped nearly 6 per cent Monday, with one analyst calling a two-month sell-off in shares of the world's most valuable company "insanely insane."After hitting an all-time high of $705.10 on the day the company launched the iPhone 5 in September, Apple's stock slumped into correction, and then into bear territory, down nearly 21 per cent.

___ Saputo continues drive for U.S. sales Vachon-Twinkies MONTREAL _ A Canadian snack cake maker hopes that American fans of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's will get their fix by switching to Jos. Louis and May West.Canadian cheese and bakery products company Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) has been making a sales push for its Vachon snack cakes into the Eastern United States for the past year. With US-Hostess-Bankruptcy-Hearing.

__ ALSO IN THE NEWS ___ TSX advances on optimism over fiscal cliff Dollar-Markets TORONTO _ North American stock markets were in rally mode Monday as traders felt that cool heads will prevail and American politicians can come together to agree on a budget deal by the end of next month.Without such a deal, the U.S. risks going over a so-called fiscal cliff and into recession as the economy would suffer a severe shock from a combination of automatic spending cuts and the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. PHOTO.

___ Loonie up, fiscal cliff worries ease Loonie TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar closed higher Monday with traders willing to take on more risk as American politicians were seen to be making progress in averting a fiscal crisis at the end of next month.Canada's commodity-sensitive currency also benefited from sharply higher oil and metal prices, rising 0.44 of a cent to 100.34 cents US. PHOTO.

___ Oil up on Mideast fears, 'fiscal cliff' hopes Oil-Prices NEW YORK _ The price of oil closed at its highest point in nearly a month Monday on rising concerns about the Middle East and less worry about the U.S. "fiscal cliff."Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose $2.36, or 2.3 per cent, to finish at US$89.28 a barrel in New York. That's the highest since Oct. 22. PHOTO.

___ SiriusXM Canada parent to pay dividend Canadian-Satellite-Radio TORONTO _ Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (TSX:XSR), the parent company of Sirius XM Canada Inc., said Tuesday it will pay a special cash dividend and begin paying a quarterly dividend.The company said it will pay a special cash dividend of 8.25 cents per class A subordinate voting share and 2.75 cents per class B voting share.

__ Quebec's Davie shipyard gets another chance Davie-Relaunch LEVIS _ The Quebec government has announced a new lease on life for the Davie shipyard, which has been fighting for survival for years.Industry Policy Minister Elaine Zakaib says as many as 700 workers could be employed at the facility in the next three years.

__ Ivanhoe Cambridge buys stake in N.Y. building Ivanhoe-Cambridge-NY MONTREAL _ Ivanhoe Cambridge has bought a 49.9 per cent stake in a 40-storey office tower in Manhattan for more than US$360 million.The joint venture agreement with the Swig Company announced Monday includes a managing interest for Ivanhoe Cambridge and an investment by both companies to improve the building.

___ Heroux-Devtek wins Boeing helicopter contract Heroux-Devtek MONTREAL _ Heroux-Devtek Inc. has been awarded a five-year contract from Boeing to manufacture landing gear for the H-47 Chinook helicopter for the U.S. army.Delivery of the landing gear for the medium- to heavy-lift helicopters are scheduled to begin in the first half of 2014 and be spread out over five years.

___ Valeant Pharma to buy back securities Valeant-Pharma MONTREAL _ Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (TSX:VRX) says its board has authorized the repurchase of up to US$1.5 billion of the company's debt and equity securities over the next year.The plan, which runs to Nov. 14, 2013, doesn't commit Valeant a minimum number of repurchases.

___ Jovian Capital plans special $3 dividend Jovian-Capital TORONTO _ Jovian Capital Corp. (TSX:JOV) says it plans a special dividend of $3 per common share. The Toronto-based wealth and asset manager says the dividend is based on proceeds from two sales made a year ago _ the Horizons ETFs business sold last November and MGI Financial Inc. sold in October 2011.

___ Cliffs delays expansion at Quebec mine Cliffs CLEVELAND _ Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. delayed Monday portions of its Bloom Lake Mine expansion in Quebec and idled some of its production at two of its U.S. iron ore operations, Northshore Mining in Minnesota and Empire Mine in Michigan.The company said the moves put 450 contractors off the job as it stopped work on the concentrator and load out facility at Bloom Lake, however pre-stripping would continue.

___ WestJet CEO touts regional airline WestJet-Saretsky MONTREAL _ WestJet Airlines chief executive Gregg Saretsky says its new regional service set to launch next year will spur passenger demand by offering fares at up to half the level charged by monopoly operators on those routes such as Air Canada (TSX:AC.B). The head of the Calgary-based airline (TSX:WJA) told the Canadian Club in Montreal that WestJet Encore "will liberate" Quebecers and other Canadians from smaller communities from the high cost of travel.

___ Intel CEO Paul Otellini to retire in May US-TEC-Intel-CEO SANTA CLARA _ Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini, plans to retire in May after nearly 40 years with the company.Intel Corp. said Monday that its board will look at company executives as well as external candidates to replace Otellini. He has been head of Intel for eight years.

___ Google strikes deal with European music publishers EU-Europe-Google-Music PARIS _ Google Inc. has reached a licensing deal with representatives of European music publishers, artists and composers in which the U.S. online giant and its customers will gain access to 5.5 million musical works across 35 countries from artists including Lady Gaga and Rihanna.The accord with Armonia, the alliance of French, Italian and Spanish licensing groups, is billed as the broadest of its kind. APNewsNow.

___ US homebuilder confidence at 6-year high US-Builder-Sentiment LOS ANGELES _ Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six and a half years, driven by strong demand for newly built homes and growing optimism that the housing recovery will strengthen next year.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index increased to 46, up from 41 in October. That's the highest reading since May 2006, just before the housing bubble burst. PHOTO.

___ US home sales rise 2.1 per cent in October US-Home-Sales WASHINGTON _ U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose solidly in October, helped by improvement in the job market and cheap mortgages.The National Association of Realtors says sales rose 2.1 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million.

___ (c) 2012 The Canadian Press

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