By Staff | March 2, 2007 | Last updated on March 2, 2007
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(March 2, 2007) Statistics Canada reports that the economy gained momentum throughout the fourth quarter of 2006, closing the year with 0.4% growth in December. For the quarter as a whole, the pace of economic activity eased slightly, although the economy advanced 2.7% over the year.

December’s strong performance gave a much needed boost to the GDP, following November’s meager gain of 0.3% and October’s paltry increase of 0.1%. Manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade posted the month’s strongest results. Construction, financial services and tourism-related industries also advanced. These increases were partly offset by losses in the energy sector and in the agriculture and forestry industries.

On the year as a whole, StatsCan found that real GDP grew by 2.7% in 2006, a slight deceleration from 2005. Consumer spending and non-residential investment accounted for most of the growth in 2006.

Consumer spending advanced 4.1%, its best performance since 1997. StatsCan said a solid first quarter helped establish strong annual growth in expenditures on both durable and semi-durable goods. Declining prices in both of these groups encouraged purchases. Significant gains were also registered in purchases of services, which rose 4.2%.

Corporate profits slowed in the fourth quarter, advancing 0.6% compared to what StatsCan termed “exceptional” growth of 3.0% in the third quarter. The motor vehicle and parts industry and the paper and wood products manufacturing industries, which had struggled for much of the year, were major contributors to that moderate growth.

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Strong finish to RRSP season

(March 20, 2007) The Investment Funds Institute of Canada estimates net new sales of mutual funds will be between $7.5 billion and $8.1 billion, up more than $100 million from February 2006. If the numbers hold it will represent the eighth month of positive asset growth.

According to the preliminary figures released by IFIC late Friday, the net assets of the mutual fund industry are expected to come in the range of $683 to $688 billion, up approximately 1.8% from last month’s total of $673.4 billion.

RBC Asset Management was well ahead of the pack in sales. The bank pulled in $1.53 billion in overall net sales for the month. During the RRSP season, between the beginning of January to March 1, 2007, RBC had record long-term net sales of $2.21 billion.

Only three firms reporting sales figures to IFIC had net redemptions. AIC reported redemptions of $75 million, Dynamic dipped $53 million and Manulife Investments, which had redemptions of $5 million.

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CI launches new income funds

(March 2, 2007) On Thursday, CI Investments Inc. announced the launch of Signature Global Income & Growth Fund, which will attempt to offer Canadian investors a monthly distribution and exposure to global financial markets.

In the same release, CI also announced the introduction of a corporate class version of its CI Global High Dividend Advantage Fund, which focuses on dividend-paying global companies.

CI said its Signature Global Income & Growth Fund, which is also available as Signature Global Income & Growth Corporate Class, is a balanced fund designed to provide income and long-term growth by investing in a diversified portfolio of global equity and income securities.

According to CI, the fund has a highly flexible mandate, with no restrictions on the portfolio’s asset class and geographic allocations. The lead portfolio manager is Eric Bushell, chief investment officer of signature advisors.

The fund will pay a distribution of five cents per month for an annual yield of 6%, based on its net asset value at inception of $10 per unit, with an initial asset allocation of approximately 60% equities and 20% in high-yield bonds, with the remainder invested in government and investment-grade money-market securities.

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Supreme Court denies appeal on TSX Venture ban

(March 2, 2007) TSX Group announced Friday that the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the company’s decision to deny Murdo McLeod and Sidney M. Miszczuk from working for TSX Venture Exchange – listed companies.

Both individuals were directors of former TSXV-listed issuers Flag Resources Limited and Golden Briar Mines Limited, and were found by TSX to be unsuitable to act as directors and officers, and in McLeod’s case, as an employee, agent or consultant of TSXV-listed issuers.

TSX said that McLeod and Miszczuk appealed the TSXV decisions to the Alberta Securities Commission, and the ASC upheld the TSXV’s decisions. The ASC’s decision was then appealed to the Alberta Court of Appeal, which also upheld TSXV’s decision. An appeal filed to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied. As a result, TSX said the matter is now closed.

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RBC expands global future business

(March 2, 2007) RBC Capital Markets is looking to expand its 24-hour global futures trading activities in Europe has named Alex Wilkinson to co-lead the business with Richard Hall-Reppen. Wilkinson, who is based in London, England, will report to Harry Samuel, head of global treasury services.

As a co-managing director, Wilkinson will lead RBC Capital Markets’ global futures group, which currently has more than 20 sales and trading professionals working in futures execution, clearing and base metals in Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, New York and London, with further additions planned.

Wilkinson, 44, was most recently with London, England-based ODL Securities as chief operating officer and has more than 20 years’ experience in building and managing international brokerage and trading businesses across all asset classes at firms including Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Fimat Banque and Bank of America.

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(03/02/07) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.