Daily Pulse

Canada

Bell is adding up to a half billion dollars to its already-expanded capital spending plan, amid what its chief executive officer is heralding as "greater regulatory stability." The big telco announced on Monday that its accelerated capital investment plan will now climb to as much as $1.7 billion over 2021 and 2022, up from the $1.2 billion target that was unveiled in February. The decision comes less than a week after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) scrapped a 2019 ruling that would have dramatically slashed the rates the large incumbent telecom companies can charge upstarts to piggyback on their broadband networks. When that ruling was announced, it triggered an uproar from Bell and other large incumbents, who warned about the chilling effect it could have on network investments.

Desjardins Group, North America’s largest financial services co-operative, agreed to acquire the assets of Canadian investment manager Hexavest Inc., adding $5 billion (US$4.1 billion) in institutional funds. The purchase is in line with a the co-operative’s growth goal of targeting $100 billion in assets under management by 2024, Nicolas Richard, president and chief operating officer of Desjardins Global Asset Management, said Monday in a statement. The Quebec-based asset manager had $83 billion in assets under management as of the end of March. In Hexavest, Desjardins gets a Montreal-based firm with about 50 clients, mostly institutional investors in Asia, Australia, the U.S. and Canada. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close around Sept. 1, weren’t disclosed.

United-States

Private-equity firms This link will open in a new tab. KKR and Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) are nearing a deal to take This link will open in a new tab. Cloudera private at a valuation of $4.7 billion, This link will open in a new tab. Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter. The private-equity giants are likely to finalize a deal on Tuesday to acquire the software firm at $16 a share, or about a 24% premium to its previous close, according to the report. Cloudera – which has activist investor This link will open in a new tab. Carl Icahn as its largest shareholder – has explored a sale since mid-2020 after receiving takeover interest, the report said. This link will open in a new tab. The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported about the deal talks.

President Joe Biden will announce new measures his administration is taking to narrow the racial wealth gap on Tuesday, during a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. Biden will announce an increase in the share of federal contracts for small, disadvantaged businesses; the reversal of two Trump-era housing rules; and the launch of a new initiative to address inequality in home appraisals. The new measures represent “a step toward making good on this nation’s ideals and promises with respect to racial equity,” said a White House official Monday during a call with reporters. The median net worth of white households today is This link will open in a new tab. approximately eight times as much as the net worth of Black households, a racial wealth gap that This link will open in a new tab. grew wider during the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden campaigned for president on a pledge to address systemic racism and opportunity gaps in all aspects of American life.

Europe

This link will open in a new tab. Europe’s major indexes closed lower on Monday after a quiet session due to public holidays in the U.K. and the U.S., with inflation figures out of Germany and Spain guiding sentiment. Optimism over the region’s economic recovery prospects has continued to drive markets higher in recent months, with more indicators to come on Tuesday. Final IHS Markit manufacturing PMI readings for May showed activity in the euro zone hitting a record high 63.1, up from 62.9 in April and exceeding an initial flash estimate of 62.8. In the U.K., factory activity rose to 65.6 in May from 60.9 in April, its sharpest increase since records began, as a windfall of new orders drove the country’s industrial resurgence. The European Commission on Monday proposed that vaccinated tourists should be exempted from mandatory testing or quarantine measures when travelling between EU nations, urging a progressive easing of travel restrictions to accommodate rising Covid-19 inoculations.

Asia

Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher on Tuesday, as investors reacted to the release of a private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity in May. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May came in at 52, higher than expectations for a reading of 51.9 by analysts in a Reuters poll. The figure for May also compared against April’s reading of 51.9. The official manufacturing PMI for May, released Monday, came in 51.0 – slightly lower than analyst expectations for a reading of 51.1 in a Reuters poll.

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.