24th April 2024

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Bank of Canada’s interest-rate hold, CIBC and TD’s executive shuffles and The Body Shop’s job cuts: Business and investing news for March 10

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The Bank of Canada on March 6 held its key lending rate at five percent, saying it remains concerned about inflation even though prices recently fell to within its target range.DAVE CHAN/Getty Images

Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s most essential business and investing stories, with insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and more.

Bank of Canada holds interest rate steady again

One of the biggest economic stories of the week was, of course, the latest Bank of Canada decision. The central bank kept its key interest rate steady at 5 per cent for the fifth consecutive time since July, 2023. The rate announcement offered few hints about when Bank of Canada will start to lower its policy rate, but most analysts think it’s just a matter of time before the bank starts easing monetary policy now that inflation is back within its target range. The key question – for bond traders, home buyers and business owners alike – is whether this will happen in April, June, July or perhaps even later, Mark Rendell reports. The Bank of Canada’s next interest rate decision is on April 10.

CIBC, TD announce a series of executive shuffles

This week also saw a series of executive shuffles at some of Canada’s biggest banks. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM-T launched a major leadership shakeup as chief executive officer Victor Dodig and the board set the stage for an eventual succession. According to Stefanie Marotta, the shuffle references the three executives widely considered to be candidates for the role of CEO: Hratch Panossian, Harry Culham and Shawn Beber. Meanwhile, Toronto-Dominion Bank TD-T named new co-heads for its investment banking business in a move that was triggered by the surprise departure of senior executive Michael Rhodes late last year.

Interest in Canadian schools is fading among Indian students

Despite the recently announced international student visa cap, data suggests that Indian students were less interested in obtaining Canadian study permits since last year. Matt Lundy reports that the federal immigration department processed roughly 308,000 study permit applications from India in 2023 – a decline of 15 per cent from the previous year. Immigration consultants point to a few reasons: Ottawa’s new financial requirements, the high cost of living and a weaker labour market. Get a closer look in this week’s Decoder.

The Body Shop to cut more than 200 jobs in Canada

If you missed the news last week, The Body Shop Canada Ltd. announced it was closing nearly one-third of its stores and filed a “notice of intention” under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act with the Ontario Superior Court. Now, the company is cutting more than 200 jobs in Canada and accusing its U.K.-based parent company of “improper” management of its funds, according to court documents. Susan Krashinsky Robertson reports that the Toronto-based retailer’s finances “deteriorated sharply” in December of 2023 after German private equity firm Aurelius Investment acquired The Body Shop’s parent company, which handled the cash management for the Canadian business. The U.S. wing also entered bankruptcy and closed all of its locations.

Senior business leaders support proposal asking pension funds to invest more in Canada

Earlier this week, more than 90 business leaders from some of Canada’s largest companies sent an open letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, asking the federal government to change rules to encourage pension funds to invest more in domestic businesses. The pension funds invest trillions of dollars on behalf of retirees, but they invest only 4 per cent of their capital in publicly traded Canadian stocks, according to the letter. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. co-founder and chair Alain Bouchard, Bombardier Inc. chief executive officer Éric Martel and Maple Leaf Foods Inc. executive chair Michael McCain were a few of the signatories, Andrew Willis and James Bradshaw report. The initiative has drawn strong opposition from some of the country’s largest pension fund managers.

Does your boss want you in the office three days a week? You won’t get this tax perk

If you’re an employee who’s returned to the office for three days per week or more throughout 2023, you won’t qualify for the home-office expenses deduction this tax season. Erica Alini reports that the Canada Revenue Agency has rejigged the rules for claiming work-from-home expenses, and among the changes: Employees must have worked remotely more than 50 per cent of the time to be eligible for the deduction.


Now that you’re all caught up, test your knowledge with our weekly business and investing news quiz and prepare for the week ahead with the Globe’s investing calendar.

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