Daily Pulse

Canada

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP urged regulators to nullify a $350 million termination fee attached to Pembina Pipeline Corp.’s takeover of Inter Pipeline Ltd. that would kick in if Brookfield manages to kill the deal. The breakup fee “threatens to enrich Pembina” at the expense of Inter’s shareholders, Brookfield said in a statement Thursday, announcing a legal challenge filed with the Alberta Securities Commission. Brookfield said if it’s successful in getting rid of or reducing the termination fee, it will boost its competing takeover bid for Inter by an equivalent amount. Brookfield’s challenge is the latest twist in a months-long battle for Canada’s fourth-largest pipeline company. It follows years of failed attempts to build major projects like TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL and Enbridge Inc.’s Energy East, potentially making existing lines more valuable. Inter owns pipeline infrastructure across Western Canada, connecting oil and natural gas producers with domestic and foreign customers.

United-States

Senators from both parties have reached an infrastructure deal they hope to sell as a plan that can get through Congress with bipartisan support. A group of 10 Democrats and Republicans struck what they called a “realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies,” according to a joint statement released Thursday by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. The plan “would be fully paid for and not include tax increases,” the senators added. The senators have tried to craft their own plan after infrastructure This link will open in a new tab. talks between President Joe Biden and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., collapsed. While the 10 lawmakers agreed to a deal, they still face a challenge in trying to win support from the White House and congressional leaders to make their proposal law. The senators briefed Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the plan Wednesday, and the Kentucky Republican was “open” to it, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters Thursday. It is unclear now if the package will be comprehensive enough to appease Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Biden.

Europe

In Europe, G-7 (Group of Seven) leaders meet on Friday in Cornwall, U.K., with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson expecting the collection of the world’s largest economies to agree to donate 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to developing countries. The leaders are also expected publicly endorse a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15% on Friday, part of a broader agreement to update international tax laws for a globalized, digital economy.

U.K. GDP climbed 2.3% month-on-month in April, according to an initial estimate published Friday, slightly exceeding expectations. The Office for National Statistics said GDP remains 3.7% below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level, but is now 1.2% above its initial recovery peak in October 2020. Industrial, manufacturing and construction outputs for April came in considerably lower than expected, however.

Asia

China’s version of Uber, Didi Chuxing, is trying to use car travel as a way into multiple aspects of daily life from grocery shopping to finance. Didi This link will open in a new tab. filed Thursday to list in New York in what many expect could be the largest initial public offering in the world this year. Founded in 2012, the company ranks among the five largest privately held start-ups in the world and counts SoftBank, This link will open in a new tab. Uber and Tencent as major investors. Smartphone-based ride hailing in China remains Didi’s primary business, generating $20.4 billion in revenue last year amid overall net losses of $1.62 billion, This link will open in a new tab. according to the prospectus. But as Didi swung to a profit in the first quarter of this year, the revenue share of “other initiatives” rose to 5%, from 4% for all of 2020. That’s up from 1.2% in 2018.

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.