By Staff | April 17, 2007 | Last updated on April 17, 2007
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(April 17, 2007) BCE responded to the intense speculation over its potential takeover Tuesday, admitting that it is in discussions with prospective suitors who might want to privatize the telecom giant.

Stating it’s undertaking a strategic review to enhance shareholder value, BCE says that it’s talking takeover with a consortium of pension funds that consists of the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, the Caisse de d&eacutepôt et placement du Québec and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board. The U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is also a minority partner in the consortium.

A non-disclosure agreement has been signed by all the parties, but BCE did say that the possibility of it going private is under serious consideration.

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Fidelity launches new global funds

(April 17, 2007) Fidelity Investments has launched three new global mutual funds: the Fidelity Global Dividend Fund, Fidelity Global Monthly Income Fund and Fidelity Global Bond Fund. All three are designed to capitalize on Canadian investors’ increased demand for regular income with their growing willingness to look for investment opportunities outside of Canada.

The Fidelity Global Monthly Income Fund will invest in global equities and fixed-income securities, including global real estate and hedged U.S. high-yield bonds. The fund will attempt to provide investors with long-term capital growth and regular income, and is led by co-portfolio managers Mark A. Friebel and Mariana Egan.

The Fidelity Global Dividend Fund will seek long-term capital growth and attractive dividend yields by investing primarily in global dividend-paying equities. Mark A. Friebel and Mariana Egan will again share portfolio management duties.

As its name suggests, the Fidelity Global Bond Fund invests in global bonds, including government and corporate bonds. The fund is managed by Andrew Weir, who is supported by Fidelity’s global fixed income team. The fund is offered in both hedged and unhedged versions. The hedged version will limit exposure to foreign exchange risk, while the unhedged version will have foreign currency exposure.

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Mackenzie launches pair of international funds

(April 17, 2007) Mackenzie Financial Services has issued two new funds, the Mackenzie Cundill International Class and Mackenzie Cundill Emerging Markets Value Class.

Mackenzie says that the Emerging Markets fund will be the only opportunity for new investors to access veteran fund manager James Morton. Morton also manages the Mackenzie Cundill Recovery Fund, which was closed to new investors in April 2006.

The Emerging Markets fund will invest in emerging markets, including some countries that Mackenzie says are not commonly covered by mainstream emerging market funds. Emerging markets historically offer much higher return potential, which can be offset by substantial risk. Mackenzie says the product will be marketed toward risk-tolerant investors and those with more aggressive investment goals.

Mackenzie Cundill International Class will invest anywhere in the world except Canada and the U.S. The fund, which is geared toward investors with a moderate risk level, will invest mainly in equity securities, and can invest in any size of company. To a lesser extent, it may also purchase fixed-income securities including high-yielding bonds. Hhu Ng, a nine-year veteran of the Cundill team, will be the fund’s lead manager.

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RBC buys stake in Fidelity’s Bahamian bank

(April 17, 2007) RBC has entered into a joint venture agreement that will see it acquire a 50% stake in Fidelity’s wholly owned Bahamas-based subsidiary, Fidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Limited.

Expected to be completed within the next three months, the joint venture is intended to be called Royal Fidelity Merchant Bank & Trust Limited or “Royal Fidelity” and will provide to Caribbean clients a range of financial services that will include advising, investment management, stock brokerages, and pension and mutual funds administration.

Royal Fidelity will operate in the Bahamas and Barbados and will have assets under management in excess of $1 billion US. There are plans to open offices elsewhere in the Caribbean.

The joint venture will also see RBC transfer its Barbadian investment management and trust business into a Barbadian subsidiary of Royal Fidelity.

“This transaction extends RBC’s growing financial services platform in the Caribbean, giving even greater access to the fast-growing merchant banking and corporate advisory sector in the region,” said Ross McDonald, head of Caribbean banking, RBC. “We are impressed with Fidelity’s merchant banking operations and view this transaction to be strategically important to our expansion plans in the Caribbean.”

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(04/17/07) staff


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