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

[January 09, 2013]

Business News as of 6 p.m. ET

(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9,@ 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 ___ TransCanada awarded $5B project in B.C.

TransCanada-Progress CALGARY _ Liquefied natural gas will be a "major driver" of TransCanada Corp.'s growth in the years ahead, CEO Russ Girling said Wednesday as the pipeline giant announced a new, $5-billion project to connect northeastern B.C. gas to Asia via the West Coast.The Calgary-based company (TSX:TRP) announced Wednesday that it will design, build, own and operate the proposed Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project for Progress Energy, which is now a subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned firm Petronas. PHOTO. Moves Business and National ___ Shaw beat estimates, raises dividend Shaw-Communications CALGARY _ Shaw Communications Inc. posted higher quarterly results Wednesday that beat analyst expectations, with the strongest performance coming from its media division.The Calgary-based company (TSX:SJR.B), which also raised its dividend, reported $235 million, or 50 cents per share, in net income in the three months ended Nov. 30, the first quarter of its 2013 fiscal year. That's up from $202 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier. PHOTO.

___ Pace of housing starts slows in December Housing-Starts OTTAWA _ Housing starts declined for the fourth consecutive month in December, but remained well above sustainable levels, leading to further fears the economically important sector could be headed for a hard landing. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Wednesday the pace of housing starts slowed by a modest 1.7 per cent last month to 197,976 on an annual basis, the fourth drop in as many months. Moves Business and National ___ Iron ore prices expected to remain volatile China-Ore-Canada MONTREAL _ Volatile iron ore prices in 2013 should prompt Chinese firms to continue investing in Canadian development projects, an industry analyst said Wednesday. Jackie Przybylowski of Desjardins Capital Markets expects investments will continue on "an opportunistic basis" in the coming year, after a very active 2012 when the Chinese bought into projects around the world, including five in Canada.

___ Facing backlash, AIG won't join lawsuit against US US-AIG-Lawsuit NEW YORK _ Facing a certain backlash from Washington and beyond, American International Group won't be joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. government over the terms of its bailout at the height of the financial crisis. PHOTO.

___ MDA signs $706M Radarsat Constellation deal Cda-Space-Radarsat MONTREAL _ Even though the final costs for the RADARSAT Constellation mission went from $600 million to more than $1 billion, the multi-satellite project is being described as a "win-win-win" situation.Those comments were made at a news conference on Wednesday as MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA) announced a $706-million deal with the Canadian Space Agency for the construction of three satellites. Will be writethru; Moves Business and National ___ Lew expected to be next US Treasury Secretary US-Obama-Treasury-Secretary WASHINGTON _ White House chief of staff Jack Lew is President Barack Obama's expected pick to lead the Treasury Department once Timothy Geithner steps down this month, and a series of urgent fiscal deadlines are waiting. White House officials would not confirm that a final decision had been made, but aides did not dispute that Lew was emerging as the consensus choice. An announcement was possible before the end of the week as the administration moves to fill the most critical Cabinet jobs for Obama's second term. PHOTO.

___ Porter workers who fuel aircraft to strike Porter-Labour-Disruption TORONTO _ Porter Airlines says it will provide regular service despite a strike by employees who fuel the aircraft. Twenty-two workers were set to strike Thursday at 12:01 a.m. after talks broke down with the airline Wednesday. Moves Business, Regional and Travel ___ Brazilian company buys XL Foods plant XL-Foods EDMONTON _ The XL Foods meat packing plant that was at the centre of the largest meat recall in Canadian history has been acquired by the subsidiary of a Brazilian company.JBS South America says its Canadian division, JBS Food Canada, expects to complete the purchase of the XL operations in Brooks, Alta., on Monday. PHOTO.

PERSONAL FINANCE ___ Canadians stress about finding RRSP money RRSP-Stress MONTREAL _ Canadians who are stressed about the annual RRSP deadline are not alone according to a new study that found 60 per cent of respondents feel anxious about coming up with the money for their retirement savings. And almost half of respondents to the survey _ 49 per cent _ who make an annual RRSP contribution do so in a lump sum, said the Bank of Montreal study released Wednesday.

___ Most markets still good for $1-million homes Million-Dollar-Home-Sales OTTAWA _ While Canada's housing market appears to be cooling, that may not be the case for homes in the rarefied listings of $1 million and above. A new report by Southeby's International Realty Canada says 2013 looks like a good year for sellers of top-end homes, giving the stable Canadian economy, increasing employment and continuing low interest rates.

ALSO IN THE NEWS ___ TSX little changed amid positive Alcoa earns Dollar-Markets TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market yielded a small gain Wednesday as resource stocks largely failed to benefit from a positive earnings report and outlook from aluminum producer Alcoa Inc.The S&P/TSX composite index rose 17.43 points to 12,522.24 while the TSX Venture Exchange was up 3.74 points at 1,229.11.

___ Loonie lower amid slowing housing starts Loonie TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar closed lower Wednesday amid data showing slightly fewer housing starts last month and lower oil and gold prices.The loonie was was off 0.1 of a cent to 101.25 cents U.S. as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported that December housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 197,976.

___ Oil down slightly, natural gas falls 3.3% Oil-Prices NEW YORK _ The price of oil barely budged Wednesday, while natural gas plunged to the lowest level since late September.Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude slipped five cents to end at US$93.10 a barrel in New York trading. After rising on the year's first trading day following the resolution of a budget standoff in Washington, oil has been holding around US$93.

___ Yamana says 2012 production up nine per cent Yamana-Gold TORONTO _ Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX:YRI) said Wednesday gold production was up nine per cent last year and predicted an even larger increase this year.The gold miner said it produced 1.2 million gold equivalent ounces for 2012, a record for the company and up nine per cent from 2011.

___ Morguard signs two deals in United States Morguard MISSISSAUGA _ Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:MRG.UN) has signed a pair of deals worth a total of US$633 million to buy 6,474 apartments and townhouses in the United States.Under the first deal, the trust will acquire a dozen apartment and townhome complexes including a total of 3,752 units in Dallas, Denver, Tampa, Fla., Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta.

___ DragonWave reports Q3 loss, revenue up DragonWave OTTAWA _ DragonWave Inc. (TSX:DWI) reported a loss in its latest quarter as revenue more than tripled compared with a year ago, boosted by its deal for Nokia Siemens Networks' microwave transport business.The wireless network equipment maker, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Wednesday it lost $13.9 million or 36 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter, compared with a loss of $8 million or 23 cents per diluted share a year ago.

___ GM CEO sees US sales gains this year US-General-Motors-CEO DETROIT _ General Motors' CEO said Wednesday that he expects the company to steal sales from rivals in the U.S. this year as its new cars and trucks gain traction with customers.Dan Akerson told reporters that he sees a modest gain in U.S. market share, helped by the rollout of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and two Cadillac sedans. He also expects the company to do well globally during the next two years. PHOTO.

___ Bauer Q2 profit narrows; revenue up 9% Bauer TORONTO _ Sports equipment and apparel manufacturer Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. (TSX:BAU) saw its second-quarter profit narrow despite a nine per cent increase in revenue. The Toronto-based concern, which specializes in ice hockey, roller hockey and lacrosse equipment, said it earned net income of US$6.1 million or 16 cents per diluted share in the quarter. That was down from US$8.2 million or 26 cents per share in the same year-earlier period. Revenue in the three months ended Nov. 30 rose to US$109.6 million from US$100.3 million.

___ Securitas employees reject contract offer Securitas-Mtl-Airport MONTREAL _ Security screeners at Montreal's Trudeau International Airport have given their union a strike mandate after unanimously rejecting the latest contract offer from Securitas Transport Aviation Services.The United Steelworkers Union says the 600 employees are prepared to launch a strike if mediated talks on Monday fail to reach a deal to address wages that are lower than for those working at airports in Toronto and Quebec City.

___ Miller Thomson expands Montreal office Miller-Thompson-Mtl MONTREAL _ Law firm Miller Thomson LLP is expanding its Montreal office by adding three lawyers who will provide financial and business consulting services. Joining the firm are Michel La Roche, a specialist in business restructuring and finance, and partners Michel d'Amours and Jean-Francois Gauvin.

___ Fight Media to operate fantasy sports channel Fight-Media GATINEAU, Que. _ Toronto-based Fight Media Inc. has been given approval to operate a fantasy sports TV channel. The CRTC approved the application for a broadcast licence to operate "The League" specialty channel which would consist of call-in and talk shows, for example, about fantasy sports picks and drafts. Moves Business and Sports ___ Tourism spending up in Q3: StatsCan Tourism-Spending OTTAWA _ Statistics Canada says tourism spending rose 1.0 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, following a 0.1 per cent increase in the previous quarter. The agency says higher tourism spending by Canadians at home more than offset a decline in spending by international visitors.

___ HudBay plans $1.24B capital budget for 2013 HudBay-Minerals TORONTO _ HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM) expects to spend about $163 million this year on the Lalor mining project near Snow Lake, Man., the miner said Wednesday as it outlined details of its $1.24-billion capital plan for the year. Lalor, home to significant gold, zinc and copper deposits, has been put on a fast track to production by HudBay. As of Nov. 30, the company had spent almost half the estimated $704 million it will cost to complete.

___ First Quantum makes offer to Inmet official Inmet-First-Quantum TORONTO _ First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM) had sent its takeover offer for Inmet Mining Corp. (TSX:IMN) directly to the copper miner's shareholders. First Quantum increased its offer last month to $72 per Inmet share, half in cash, half in stock, for a total offer worth about $5.1 billion.

___ Areva gets McClean Lake licence amendment Areva-Expansion SASKATOON _ Nuclear giant Areva Resources Canada has been given the go-ahead to process high-grade ore from its Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan. The company has received a licence amendment for its McClean Lake operation from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

___ (c) 2013 The Canadian Press

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