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Daily Pulse

Canada

Canada’s top banking regulator dashed hopes that the country’s lenders will be able to follow U.S. peers in resuming share buybacks soon, saying it won’t reverse its safeguards on the financial system as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions implemented measures in March to shore up the financial system, including asking banks not to increase dividends or total executive compensation, or to repurchase shares. On Monday, Jeremy Rudin, the regulator’s head, said those measures will remain in place for the time being. OSFI’s approach contrasts with that of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which in December allowed Wall Street banks to resume buybacks. While OSFI has removed special measures that let Canadian banks help consumers with loan deferrals early in the pandemic, and has opened the door to payments of certain special dividends, Rudin said the government is taking a more cautious approach on the broader dividend and buyback restrictions.

United-States

The House moved closer Monday to impeaching President This link will open in a new tab. Donald Trump an unprecedented second time, this time for inciting his supporters who invaded the U.S. Capitol during Congress’ electoral vote count last week. Democrats introduced an article of impeachment Monday that charges Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors for whipping up an insurrection and disrupting the peaceful transfer of power. The chamber will take two separate steps to try to spur Trump’s removal, according to the office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. The full House would need a 218-vote majority to impeach Trump. The number could end up lower due to vacancies and absences. Democrats hold 222 seats. Although there are only eight days left for the Trump administration, impeaching him could bar him from public office in the future.

This link will open in a new tab. Walmart said Monday that it’s creating a fintech start-up with Ribbit Capital, one of the venture capital firms behind Robinhood. The big-box retailer did not share the name of the new company or say when its services will be available. It said it will develop unique and affordable financial products for Walmart employees and customers. Shares of Walmart were up 1.5% on the news in after-hours trading Monday. Walmart’s market cap is $416.7 billion. The fintech start-up will be majority-owned by Walmart and its board will include several company executives, including Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs and Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner. Walmart said it will also name independent industry experts to the board and may acquire or partner with other fintech companies.

Europe

Shares of Japanese drugmaker This link will open in a new tab. Chugai Pharmaceutical surged on Tuesday after the U.K. government found that its drug tocilizumab was effective in reducing risk of death as well as hospitalization time for Covid patients. In a This link will open in a new tab. press release dated Thursday, the U.K. said results from a government-funded clinical trial showed tocilizumab was among two drugs that “reduced the relative risk of death by 24% when administered to patients within 24 hours of entering intensive care.” The release also said that patients receiving the drugs, typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, “left intensive care between 7 to 10 days earlier on average.” U.K. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said the results marked “another landmark development in finding a way out of this pandemic.”

Asia

Chinese video platform Bilibili has confidentially filed for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, a source close to the matter told CNBC. This link will open in a new tab. Bilibili, which is currently listed on the Nasdaq, made the filing within the last few days, the source said. This link will open in a new tab. CNBC reported last week that the listing could raise over $2 billion and the filing was to be expected last week or beginning of this week. Companies already listed on another major exchange can confidentially file for a secondary listing on Hong Kong’s stock exchange as a way to prevent a major impact on its share price. The filing is not public yet. Pricing details usually follow in the coming weeks.

The author

Michel Doucet

Michel Doucet

Vice-President and Portfolio Manager
After obtaining a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Université du Québec in Montréal and his Master’s degree, Michel Doucet began his career as a junior economist at the National Bank head office in Montreal. In 1992 he joined the institutional equities and fixed income group at Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion as an economist and market analyst. Over the years, he has led various projects related to the North American and international economies as well as Canadian public finances. In 1996, the team of institutional economists to which he belongs was ranked first in Canada by Brendan Wood International. In August 1997, Mr. Doucet joined the personal services division of Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion where he served as an economist, fixed income market analyst and vice president. In 2004, he joined the Desjardins Securities full service team as Vice President. He now occupies the roles of fixed income strategist, economist and portfolio manager. He manages the Securities Portfolio Advisory Group, advisor marketing and distribution of financial planning and insurance.