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TMCNet:  Business News as of Noon ET

[February 11, 2013]

Business News as of Noon ET

(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Monday, Feb. 11 Noon ET BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of Noon 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 ___ WestJet to launch regional service in June WestJet WestJet Airlines is boosting its base in Western Canada by launching its Encore regional service in June to British Columbia's energy region using the airline's first Bombardier turboprops.The airline will begin with daily flights between Fort St. John, B.C. and Vancouver, and Fort St. John and Calgary with the first two 78-seat Q400 turboprops it receives. Will be updated. Moves Business, West ___ CRTC begins hearings on wireless code CRTC-Wireless-Code GATINEAU _ Consumer groups and cellphone companies with starkly opposed views about contracts for handheld devices started to make their cases Monday as the CRTC began public hearings on a proposed wireless code. PHOTO. Moves National and Business; Guard against duplication. Will be Writethru ___ Genivar confirms inquiry allegations Genivar MONTREAL _ Engineering firm Genivar confirmed Monday that it engaged in "inappropriate conduct" in the financing of political parties in Quebec and the awarding of municipal contracts as outlined in recent allegations to the province's corruption inquiry.The Montreal-based company says an unnamed person is on a leave of absence until an internal review is completed. Will be updated.

___ Ex-SNC head Duhaime charged with fraud CRIME-Duhaime-Fraud MONTREAL _ The former chief executive of Canada's biggest engineering firm has been formally charged with fraud.Pierre Duhaime was not in court this morning and was represented by a lawyer who pleaded not guilty on behalf of the former SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC) executive. Will be updated; Moves Business and National; guard against duplication ___ Cameco shares down following $168m write down Cameco SASKATOON _ Shares in uranium producer Cameco Corp. were down 3.5 per cent Monday after the company posted an 83 per cent drop in net earnings in its fourth quarter. The massive earnings drop was largely due to a $168-million writedown on its Kintyre project in Australia and lower profits from its uranium business.Will be writethru ___ PERSONAL FINANCE ___ Young people worry they will out-live savings Poll-Youth-Retirement MONTREAL _ Young people apparently aren't optimistic that they'll enjoy a comfortable retirement, with 80 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34 not very confident they can save enough money, a new poll suggests.Many young people are focusing on paying down debt rather than saving for their golden years, said the BMO study released Monday.

___ Canadians plan to save, but likely won't CIBC-Retirement-Poll TORONTO _ A majority of Canadian respondents to a recent poll say they plan on putting money away for retirement this year, but the likelihood of that actually happening is considered slim.The study, released Monday by CIBC (TSX:CM), found that 60 per cent of those polled say they want to contribute to their RRSP, tax-free savings account or both, in 2013.

___ ALSO IN THE NEWS ___ Gold stocks lead Toronto stock market lower Dollar-Markets TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market was slightly lower Monday amid falling commodity prices and while traders looked to a heavy week of earnings news from corporate Canada.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 17.15 points to 12,784.08, led by falling gold stocks as bullion prices dropped more than US$16, while the TSX Venture Exchange slipped 7.81 points to 1,198. Will be updated ___ Loonie moves down on poor economic data Loonie TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar continued to lose ground Monday amid lower commodities and disappointing economic data.The loonie fell 0.36 of a cent to 99.37 cents US on top of a loss of about half a cent Friday that followed the release of disappointing readings on employment and housing starts for January. PHOTO. will be updated ___ Brookfield buys U.S. apartment portfolio Brookfield NEW YORK _ Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (TSX:BAM.A) is buying 19 apartment building in three eastern U.S. states from Babcock & Brown Residential for US$414 million.The Toronto-based company said Monday that most of the 4,892 units included in the deal are concentrated in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., but some are also in the neighbouring states of South Carolina and Virginia.

___ Onex group to sell its half-interest in RSI Onex TORONTO _ Onex Corp (TSX:OCX) and its affiliates have agreed to sell their 50 per cent interest in a California-based cabinetry maker for approximately US$323 million.The Onex Group invested $318 million to buy preferred equity of RSI Home Products in October 2008. The Toronto-based group says it will have received US$471 million, including prior distributions, when the sale closes.

___ Valener reports big jump in Q1 net income Valener MONTREAL _ Utility company investor Valener Inc. (TSX: VNR) is reporting a big increase in fiscal 2013 first-quarter net earnings, mainly due to higher income from its investment in Gaz Metro, Quebec's largest natural gas distributor. Valener, which is also invested in wind power projects in the province, says net income attributable to common shareholders rose to $17.5 million or 47 cents per share in the three months ended Dec. 31. That was up from $10.1 million or 27 cents per share in the same prior-year period.

___ Hanfeng CEO raises bid for company Hanfeng-Evergreen TORONTO _ The CEO of Chinese-Canadian fertilizer producer Hanfeng Evergreen Inc. (TSX:HF) is offering C$2.25 per share to take the company private _ five cents per share more than his initial bid. The latest offer from Xinduo Yu, who already owns about one-fifth of Hanfeng's stock, is also above Friday's closing price of $2.16 and above the Jan. 7 closing price of $1.59, prior to the initial announcement ___ UK watchdog launches investigation into Autonomy EU-Britain-Autonomy-HP LONDON _ Britain's accounting watchdog announced Monday that it is investigating the books of British business software maker Autonomy Corporation in the period before it was bought by Hewlett-Packard Co. in 2011.In a brief statement, the Financial Reporting Council said it had launched an investigation "into the published financial reporting of Autonomy for the period between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2011." ___ FAM to sell Winnipeg office property to Artis FAM-REIT RICHMOND _ FAM Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:F.UN) is preparing to sell an office property in Winnipeg to Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:AX.UN) for $41 million.Under a two stage process announced Monday, FAM said it has exercised its right to buy 50 per cent of the building at 220 Portage Ave. from the current owner at a price of $20.5 million and assign that right to Artis.

___ Bombardier Recreational re-signs CGI for IT CGI-BRP MONTREAL _ CGI Group Inc. (TSX:GIB.A) will continue to provide IT services for Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. for another decade under a renewed and expanded contract awarded by the maker of the iconic Ski-Doo snowmobiles.CGI estimates it will receive $74 million over 10 years from the deal, announced Monday.

___ Dell looks to calm shareholder concern over buyout US-Dell-Acquisition NEW YORK _ Dell is trying to reassure shareholders about its proposed $24.4 billion acquisition by a group led by its founder, saying it considered a number of strategic options before agreeing to the deal.Dell Inc. laid out the advantages of the transaction in a regulatory filing Monday, three days after a major shareholder ridiculed the buyout as a rotten deal that undervalues the business.

___ (c) 2013 The Canadian Press

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