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What every Canadian investor needs to know today




Wall Street futures saw early gains fade Monday morning after regulators stepped in to avoid a possible banking crisis after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. European markets were weaker. TSX futures also turned negative.

In the early premarket period, Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures had initially been higher but quickly slid after posting losses last week. TSX futures had also suggested a bounce at the opening bell only but lost altitude as the start to the trading day neared. Canada’s key stock index posted losses of more than 3 per cent last week.

Early Monday, all eyes were on the banking sector after the failure of the Santa Clara, California-based bank triggered contagion concerns. Early Monday, shares of U.S. regional bank First Republic were down more than 60 pre cent in premarket trading while shares of PacWest Bankcorp slumped more than 20 per cent.


“SVB’s flash crash raised questions that other similar local banks in the U.S. could also experience liquidity issues and may not be able to pay their depositors back, unless they also start selling their probably loss-making portfolios,” Swissquote senior analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya said in a note.

“The contagion risk remains for small banks with highly rate-sensitive clients, but the U.S. authorities now step in to avoid contagion. They said that SVB depositors could access their money today,” she said.

However, she also noted that concern about the situation could convince the Federal Reserve to change its course on rate hikes. She said it’s now possible the U.S. central bank could pullback on an expected 50-basis-point increase this month or forgo an increase altogether.

Over the weekend, the Federal Reserve, Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced in a joint statement that “depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13. No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer.” The agencies also said that they would enact a similar program for Signature Bank, which the government disclosed was closed Sunday by its state chartering authority, according to Reuters.

In this country, Canada’s banking regulator took control of Silicon Valley Bank’s domestic operations on Sunday, as governments, along with tech sector CEOs, spent the weekend scrambling to limit the impact of a leading global technology financer’s sudden collapse, The Globe reports this morning.

In Britain, meanwhile, HSBC said on Monday it is acquiring the U.K’ subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bank for 1 pound. “This acquisition makes excellent strategic sense for our business in the UK,” HSBC CEO Noel Quinn said in a statement.

Elsewhere, Canadian investors will got household-debt-to-income figures from Statistics Canada.

The agency said, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income improved to 180.5 per cent in the fourth quarter from 184.3 per cent in the third quarter, and was down from 184.5 per cent at the end of 2021. In other words, there was $1.81 in credit market debt for every dollar of household disposable income in the fourth quarter of 2022, Statscan said.

Overseas, the pan-European STOXX 600 was down 1.2 per cent in morning trading with bank stocks under pressure. Britain’s FTSE 100 slid 1.06 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were off 1.15 per cent and 1.26 per cent, respectively.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended down 1.11 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.95 per cent on gains in technology stocks.


Crude prices fell in early trading, underpinned by optimism over China’s recover and a softer U.S. dollar but offset by continued worries about the road ahead for U.S. interest rates.

The day range on Brent was US$82.25 to US$83.48 in the early premarket period. The range on West Texas Intermediate was US$76.14 to US$77.47.

“It’s like the battle of surging activity data in the East meets macro malaise in the West”, Stephen Innes, managing partner of SPI Asset Management, said.

“From an oil trader’s perspective, the U.S. dollar should pull back as traders give up on a re-acceleration of Fed hikes; this, in turn, clears a path for more robust Chinese fundamentals to dominate commodity trading,” Mr. Innes said.

Reuters reported that comments over the weekend from Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser on crude demand from China also offered some support.

“If you considered China opening up and a pick up in jet fuels and very limited spare capacity, we are talking 2 million barrels, so as I said we are cautiously optimistic in the short to midterm and the market will remain tightly balanced,” he said.

In other commodities, gold prices rose as investors sought out safe-haven assets amid concern over the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Spot gold was up 0.6 per cent at US$1,878.54 per ounce by early Monday morning. Earlier in the session, bullion hit its highest since Feb. 3 at US$1,893.96.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.9 per cent to US$1,884.30.


The Canadian dollar was up early Monday morning as its U.S. counterpart fell against a group of world currencies on speculation the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank could move the Fed to pause rate hikes.

The day range on the loonie was 72.15 US cents to 72.93 US cents in the predawn period.

“The CAD is trading a little firmer against a generally soft USD but it has edged off earlier highs,” Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist with Scotiabank, said.

“Canada’s jobs report Friday may not move the needle for the BoC at the moment but the strong report—in pretty much all aspects—does tilt risks towards the BoC having to return to tightening down the road.”

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against six rivals, fell 0.55 per cent to near one-month lows of 103.67 after Goldman Sachs said it no longer expects the Fed to deliver a rate hike at its March 22 meeting, Reuters reports. The index was last at 103.85.

The euro was up 0.72 per cent at US$1.072, hovering near the one-month high of US$1.0737. Sterling was last trading at US$1.2114, up 0.71 per cent.

In bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note was down at 3.602 per cent.

More company news

Pfizer will spend US$43-billion to buy Seagen and deepen its reach into treating cancer. The pharmaceutical giant said Monday that it will pay US$229 per Seagen share. “Together, Pfizer and Seagen seek to accelerate the next generation of cancer breakthroughs and bring new solutions to patients by combining the power of Seagen’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology with the scale and strength of Pfizer’s capabilities and expertise,” Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Economic news

(8:30 a.m. ET) Canada’s national balance sheet and financial flow accounts for Q4.

With Reuters and The Canadian Press


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Canada eases some rules around foreign homebuyers ban – Global News



The federal government announced amendments to the foreign homebuyer ban on Monday that eases some restrictions for non-Canadians, including newcomers to the country.

Read more:

Foreign buyers ban won’t fix housing market – could make it worse, experts say


The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act was passed by Parliament in June 2022 and came into force on the first day of 2023.

Under that law, non-citizens, non-permanent residents, and foreign commercial enterprises were blocked from purchasing Canadian homes — with some exceptions for international students and temporary residents. Those who violate the ban face a $10,000 fine and may have to sell the offending property.

The amendments will now allow some non-Canadians to purchase residential property in certain circumstances in order to help add to Canada’s housing supply, according to a statement from the ministry of housing.

Effective immediately, work permit holders or those authorized to work in Canada can now purchase a home to live in while working in the country. Work permit holders must have 183 days or more of validity remaining on the permit at the time of the purchase, and cannot purchase more than one residential property, according to the statement.

Click to play video: 'New Federal Foreign Buyers Rules'

New Federal Foreign Buyers Rules

The ban will also now not apply to vacant land zoned for residential and mixed-use, so non-Canadians can purchase such land with the potential of using it for residential development.

There will also now be an exception to allow non-Canadians, as well as publicly traded entities formed in Canada but controlled by a non-Canadian, to purchase residential property for the purpose of development.

In addition, the government will consider a privately-held corporation or entity to be foreign if a non-Canadian owns up to 10 per cent of its equity, up from three per cent.

“These amendments will allow newcomers to put down roots in Canada through home ownership and businesses to create jobs and build homes by adding to the housing supply in Canadian cities,” Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen said in a statement in CMHC’s release.

“These amendments strike the right balance in ensuring that housing is used to house those living in Canada, rather than a speculative investment by foreign investors.”

Read more:

Will recreational homes be more affordable in 2023? Report predicts prices will dip

More on Canada

Canada has been accepting record numbers of immigrants into the country, and the ban was previously criticized by some experts for not allowing them to purchase homes.

The foreign homebuyers ban was put in place to limit foreign investment in property that potentially could be taking away homes for Canadians, according to Hussen.

However, the policy has been criticized for not being the right approach to tackling housing affordability.

Elton Ash, ReMax executive president for Western Canada, told Global News in January that non-Canadian homeowners don’t make up a significant amount of real estate transactions.

“I can tell you with full confidence, (the ban) will have zero effect on house prices,” he said.

— with files from Global News’ Kathryn Mannie

Click to play video: 'Canadian real estate ban on foreign investors'

Canadian real estate ban on foreign investors

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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A Game-Changing Factor to Job Search: Your Ability to Make Human Connections



human connections

This column will be a departure from my usual job-searching topics to focus on something crucial to a successful job search and your career momentum, especially when networking and interviewing: making human connections.

“The most important things in life are the connections you make with others.” – Tom Ford, American fashion designer.

Genuine human connections lead to positive energy exchange and trust building. Since most job search activities involve interacting with people, projecting positive energy and being seen as trustworthy greatly benefits you.

According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love and belonging are the most essential needs we must fulfill, besides food, water, and safety. We are more fulfilled when our needs for love and belonging are met.


We live busy lives, juggling work, family responsibilities, self-care, side hustles, and more. Therefore, often our social connections fall by the wayside. You might not think connecting with others is important, but it is. Social connections can lower anxiety and depression, help regulate emotions, increase self-esteem and empathy, and improve your immune system. These are huge pluses when job hunting.

Sadly, we live in a time when there is a great deal of disconnection. While technology gives the appearance we are more connected than ever, the screens around us disconnect us from nature, ourselves, and those around us. Rather than using technology, especially social media, to enhance our human connections, we use it to replace them.

Being brave, proactive, and taking chances is often required to make human connections. Striking up a conversation with a stranger can be intimidating, requiring you to step out of your comfort zone. Your lowest-hanging fruit is to reconnect with current friends and family. Then venture out and try new activities, such as joining a club or taking classes, to meet people to build a relationship with.

Putting yourself out there will ultimately pay off in the form of a rewarding feeling that comes from building human connections. Here are six simple ways you can create human connections.


  1. Surround yourself with people with shared interests.

It is easy to bond with people who share your interests and hobbies. Identifying commonalities between your interviewer and yourself is the most straightforward way to bond with your interviewer, which will give you a competitive advantage.

Do you love reading? Join a local book club. Are you a runner? Join a running club. Go where people who share your interests and beliefs are, such as clubs, volunteering, sports, taking classes, church, or sitting on an advisory board.


  1. Overcome your resistance.

Building relationships is often intimidating because of a natural fear of rejection. However, to make human connections, you must overcome your limiting beliefs causing your resistance to change, and embrace situations outside your comfort zone.

The best way I know how to lower your anxiety when meeting new people is to remember showing interest is a massive gesture to anyone you meet. Therefore ask open-ended questions about the other person and make your discussion all about them.

TIP: When meeting someone for the first time, ask yourself, “How can I help this person?”


  1. Smile and give off a positive attitude.

People prefer positive emotions to negative ones when forming a social connection; therefore, first impressions count.

A positive demeanor and a genuine smile will naturally draw people to you. Before spending time with others, I find doing a gratitude exercise and taking a few minutes to reflect on the good things in my life helpful in creating a positive attitude.

Putting your best self forward will maximize your chances of being a people magnet.


  1. Open up.

If you want to make friends more easily, allow yourself to be more vulnerable with others. This does not mean dropping all filters or boundaries. Too much, too soon, can put people off. On the other hand, you do not want to be an overly edited version of yourself and thus come across as not being authentic.

People can sense whether or not someone is genuine, so let them see the most authentic version of you. Your vulnerability will also prompt them to feel comfortable around you and connect with you on a deeper level.


  1. Do not hide behind your phone.

In social situations where you are uncomfortable, hiding behind your phone is easy, preventing you from making real-life connections.

Being on your phone during a party or networking event makes you less approachable. Whenever you are out, focus on being present and engaging with the people around you.


  1. Stay in touch.

Human connections need to be nurtured. Regular contact deepens your connections.

If you make a new friend, keep in touch with them and grow your friendship. Likewise, maintain your existing relationships with friends, family, and colleagues by keeping in touch.

Making and maintaining human connections is an activity you should prioritize if for no other reason than the fact that opportunities (e.g., jobs, friendships, love) exist all around you; the only caveat is they are connected to people. Therefore, the more people you are connected to, the more opportunities you will be exposed to.



Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to

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First Citizens acquires troubled Silicon Valley Bank



North Carolina-based First Citizens will buy Silicon Valley Bank, the tech industry-focused financial institution that collapsed earlier this month, rattling the banking industry and sending shockwaves around the world.

The deal could reassure investors at a time of shaken confidence in banks, though the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and other regulators had already taken extraordinary steps to head off a wider banking crisis by guaranteeing that depositors in SVB and another failed U.S. bank would be able to access all of their money.

Customers of SVB will automatically become customers of First Citizens, which is headquartered in Raleigh. The 17 former branches of SVB will open as First Citizens branches Monday, the FDIC said.

European shares opened higher Monday, with German lender Commerzbank AG up 2.4% and BNP Paribas up 1.2%.


Investors worry that other banks also may crumble under the pressure of higher interest rates. On Friday, much of the focus was on Deutsche Bank, whose stock tumbled 8.5% in Germany, though it was back up about 3.6% in early trading Monday. Earlier this month, shares of and faith in Swiss bank Credit Suisse fell so much that regulators brokered a takeover of by rival UBS.

In the U.S., SVB, based in Santa Clara, California, collapsed March 10 after depositors rushed to withdraw money amid fears about the bank’s health. It was the second-largest bank collapse in U.S. history after the 2008 failure of Washington Mutual. Two days later, New York-based Signature Bank was seized by regulators in the third-largest bank failure in the U.S.

In both cases, the government agreed to cover deposits, even those that exceeded the federally insured limit of $250,000, so depositors were able to access their money.

New York Community Bank agreed to buy a significant chunk of Signature Bank in a $2.7 billion deal a week ago, but the search for a buyer for SVB took longer.

The sale announced late Sunday involves the sale of all deposits and loans of SVB to First-Citizens Bank and Trust Co., the FDIC said.

The acquisition gives the FDIC shares in First Citizens worth $500 million. Both the FDIC and First Citizens will share in losses and the potential recovery on loans included in a loss-share agreement, the FDIC said.

First Citizens Bank was founded in 1898 and says it has more than $100 billion in total assets, with more than 500 branches in 21 states as well as a nationwide bank. It reported net profit of $243 million in the last quarter. It is one of the top 20 U.S. banks and says it is the largest family-controlled bank in the country.


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