By Staff | May 28, 2007 | Last updated on May 28, 2007
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(May 28, 2007) It’s no secret that Canada’s private equity industry has been on fire lately, but thanks to McKinsey & Company there’s proof to back up the talk. The management consulting firm released its fifth annual report on the Canadian private equity industry today and found that the industry has broken all previous records with $65.5 billion of private equity capital under management in 2006.

Accounting for this growth is an increase in buyouts, which is up to 58%, compared to 43% in 2002. On the flipside, venture capital fell to 34% from 47% in 2002.

The report also found that more Canadian GPs are turning to U.S.-based strategies and tactics to get ahead, while the country’s LPs are being recognized for things like active risk budgeting, direct private equity investments and infrastructure investing.

The next five years look good, too, as McKinsey & Company predicts private equity firms will take over larger Canadian public-listed companies. GPs also face competition from Americans looking for more Canadian opportunities, the high-yield market is expected to grow, the infrastructure market is gaining in popularity, and more Canadian buyout firms are operating like their American counterparts, shifting private equity to permanent capital structures.

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CSA introduces new initiative to make investing easier

(May 28, 2007) The Canadian Securities Administrators is trying to make trading easier. On Monday it launched a new initiative — the XBRL voluntary filing program, which is a burgeoning business reporting language that’s intended to make accessing data and analyzing information easier for investors.

Here’s how it works: each piece of data is assigned a tag, and the tags provide information about what the data represent. For the CRA’s voluntary program, the data are parts of financial statements, such as net income or revenue.

“We believe this technology will be a great step forward in helping investors analyze financial information,” said Jean St-Gelais, chair of the CSA. “We are confident that the Canadian marketplace will recognize the benefits to investors of filing in XBRL format.”

To access the XBRL financial statements, investors and analysts must go to There they’ll find a link to the CSA’s XBRL website, which has more information on the language and the program. Issuers who want to participate in the voluntary program should contact a CSA staff member by going to

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AIM Trimark reduces management fees

(May 28, 2007) Investing with AIM Trimark became a bit cheaper on Monday. The Toronto-based investment management company is reducing its management fees on a variety of funds effective May 29.

“AIM Trimark continuously looks for cost efficiencies and other means of reducing fund-related expenses,” said the company in a release. Management fees on a number of funds will be reduced 25 basis points, or 0.25%.

The affected funds, all in the AIM family, include the American Mid Cap Growth Class, the American Growth Fund, the Global Theme Class, the International Growth Class and both the corporate class and the mutual funds of European Growth, Global Technology and Global Health Sciences.

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Scotiabank Commodity Price Index reaches record high

(May 28, 2007) Scotia Economics announced Monday that the Scotiabank Commodity Price Index reached a record high, up 3.9% in April over March. That pushes the All Items Index 132.2% over its cyclical low in October 2001.

The Metal and Mineral Index also had a record high, finishing 85.3% higher than its previous peak in June 1988. Nickel, cobalt, lead, uranium and potash also all hit new highs.

According to Scotia Economics, the upswing is a result of cash-rich mining companies wanting to strengthen their position in the global marketplaces’ “supercycle.” With the economies in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Russia, the Baltic States and Eastern Europe on the rise — and strong projected growth in China and India — the American slowdown has been offset and “points to a period of sustained demand and growth for metals and minerals,” said the company in a release.

Aluminum is also a hot commodity these days as China continues to increase its production by 22.3% a year. The country accounts for 32% of the industry’s global output.

“This year promises to be another strong year for global aluminum consumption, with a gain of 8.5%,” said Patricia Mohr, Scotiabank’s vice-president, economics. “China’s consumption will soar by 28% in 2007, boosted by expansion of the electric transmission system, and Europe’s demand remains high, more than offsetting auto- and housing-related weakness in the United States.”

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Altamira raises interest rates

(May 28, 2007) It’s always a good day for money-savers when an interest rate goes up. Altamira announced Monday that the interest rate on its High-Interest CashPerformer has been raised by 0.10%, from 3.75% to 3.85%.

“The most recent increase demonstrates Altamira’s commitment to providing the most complete and competitive selection of investment solutions for investors,” said Yanic Chagnon, vice-president, research and product development at Altamira. “Maximizing the effectiveness of short-term savings solutions is an important component of a well-structured personal financial plan.”

This follows an April 27 interest rate increase of 0.25% (to 4.75%) on Altamira’s U.S. High-Interest CashPerformer.

(05/28/07) staff


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