By Staff | April 25, 2007 | Last updated on April 25, 2007
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(April 25, 2007) In terms of provincial economic growth last year, Alberta continues to lead the nation. For the third consecutive year, Alberta had Canada’s fastest growing economy, which grew at a rate of 6.8%, more than double the national average, Statistics Canada reports.

Energy prices and continued investment in the oil sands spurred Alberta’s economic growth, while the rest of the country experienced more moderate growth.

Overall, Canada’s GDP growth rate declined from 2.9% in 2005 to 2.7% in 2006. StatsCan reports that much of the growth was from investment, trade and strength in financial services, which offset a 3.5% decline in Canadian manufacturing.

An increase of 6.8% in the Canadian dollar and unrelenting high oil prices led to one of the sharpest declines in manufacturing in years, StatsCan says. The impact had a dramatic effect on Central Canada, especially Ontario, where growth dropped to 1.9% in 2006, almost a full percentage point weaker than in 2005.

Besides Alberta, the other provinces that managed to surpass the 2006 national growth rate were Newfoundland and Labrador at +2.8%, Manitoba at +3.3% and British Columbia at +3.6%.

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IG revamps funds

(April 25, 2007) Investors Group has announced some changes to its fund lineup, including the addition of its own version of two Mackenzie funds: the IG Mackenzie Cundill Global Value Fund and the IG Mackenzie Cundill Global Value Class.

IG has also announced a number of fund mergers, which it says will allow for more efficient management since many of the funds have similar or identical investment objectives.

The IG AGF Asian Growth Fund and IG AGF Asian Growth Class will merge into the Investors Pacific International Fund. The IG Mackenzie Select Canadian Managers Fund and the IG Mackenzie Select Canadian Managers Class will merge into the IG Mackenzie Maxxum Equity Growth Class. IG series units of the Mackenzie Universal U.S. Growth Leaders Fund will merge into the Mackenzie Universal U.S. Growth Leaders Class, and IG series units of the Mackenzie Universal Global Future Fund will merge into the IG Mackenzie Universal Future Class.

The mergers are viewed as an opportunity for the company to expand its global equity holdings, says John Wiltshire, senior vice-president of product and financial planning for Investors Group.

“As the result of our ongoing monitoring of our portfolio products, we are moderately increasing global equity exposure, with the ultimate goal of helping preserve the purchasing power of our clients,” Wiltshire says.

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Desjardins launches PPN

(April 25, 2007) Desjardins Securities has introduced the Selection Profile Note, Series 1, a principal protected note which offers three different risk profiles: conservative, balanced and growth. The unique aspect of this offering is that the investor’s return, if any, is based on the performance of the highest performing risk profile.

The principal is guaranteed at maturity by French bank Société Générale. The asset allocation is diverse and not limited to certain asset classes or geography, although it will not be exposed to currency risk. The notes will also be tax deferred until they mature in eight years.

The Desjardins Securities Selection Profile Note requires a minimum investment of $1,000 and is available for a limited time.

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(04/25/07) staff


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