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Cenovus Energy shares plummet on news of its $3.8B deal to buy Husky Energy

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The all-share deal by Cenovus Energy Inc. to buy Husky Energy Inc. for about $3.8 billion will likely spark more mega-mergers among Canadian oil and gas majors, according to a veteran oilsands analyst.

“This is likely just the start of big deals in Canadian energy land and thus it begs the question of who is next?” said analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital in a report on Monday.

“As seen in the U.S. with the accelerated M&A activity, when there’s one meaningful transaction, there’s likely more to come.”

Several industry observers point to Calgary-based oilsands producer MEG Energy Inc. as the leading potential target, noting Husky’s failed $3.3-billion hostile takeover attempt of its smaller rival two years ago.

In his report, Skolnick presents scenarios where Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (sometimes referred to by its stock ticker, CNQ) or Imperial Oil Ltd. buy MEG, while also outlining the numbers involved if Canadian Natural combined with Imperial or Suncor Energy Inc., and if Suncor were to merge with Imperial.

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“Some (scenarios) have been asked about before and I was just bringing up some new ones _ like a CNQ and Suncor merger is not something I’ve heard out there, but nor was Cenovus-Husky,” he said in an interview.

“I’m not going to give zero chance to anything anymore.”

Analysts generally applauded the surprise Cenovus-Husky hookup announced Sunday for its operational advantages but criticized the plus-20-per-cent premium in the price for Husky.

“The deal does makes strategic sense,” said Manav Gupta of Credit Suisse in a note to investors.

“Like U.S. E&P (exploration and production companies), Canadian energy companies also need to come together, cut costs and become leaner to better adapt to lower energy demand in post pandemic world.”

He said Cenovus’s reputation as an efficient operator in its steam-driven oilsands projects will help Husky overcome its struggles with operational issues, including higher operating and administrative costs.

The companies have identified $1.2 billion in potential annual cost savings which will include workforce reductions.

 

But Gupta added the premium is “excessive” and joined other observers in predicting Cenovus shares would trade lower, as they did, falling by as much as 15 per cent to $4.15 in Monday trading in Toronto before closing down 8.4 per cent at $4.47.

Husky, meanwhile, gained as much as 14.2 per cent to $3.62 before closing up 12 per cent at $3.55 .

Husky shareholders are to receive 0.7845 of a Cenovus share plus 0.0651 of a Cenovus share purchase warrant in exchange for each Husky common share if the deal is concluded.

Cenovus shareholders would own about 61 per cent of the combined company and Husky shareholders about 39 per cent.

The transaction must be approved by at least two-thirds of Husky’s shareholders but Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing controls 70 per cent of Husky’s shares and has agreed to vote them in favour of the deal.

The announcement Sunday came just as Calgary’s oilsands companies are about to start rolling out third-quarter financial results, with Suncor Energy Inc. set to report Wednesday and both Cenovus and Husky scheduled to report on Thursday.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Pakistan deeply appreciates US announcing it will send 3 million Moderna doses through COVAX: FO – Geo News

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Pakistan ‘deeply appreciates’ US announcing it will send 3 million Moderna doses through COVAX: FO

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A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, US, January 29, 2021. — Reuters/Mike Segar
A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, US, January 29, 2021. — Reuters/Mike Segar

The government on Friday said it “deeply appreciates” the United States’ announcement that it is sending three million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Pakistan through the United Nations’ COVAX vaccine-sharing programme.

“The government and the people of Pakistan deeply appreciate the announcement by the White House to ship three million doses of Moderna vaccine to Pakistan through COVAX,” read a statement by the Foreign Office.

Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, added: “These vaccines will give a boost to the ongoing vaccination drive in Pakistan.”

“This considerate gesture is part of the continued assistance that the US has provided to Pakistan to support our COVID relief and prevention efforts,” he said.

“We look forward to our continued cooperation with the US in our fight against the pandemic,” the statement added.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki had announced last month that the Biden administration is donating 80 million surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world by the end of June.

“Thanks to the President’s commitment to playing a leading role in ending the pandemic everywhere, 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will begin to ship to Peru from the United States, and 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will ship to Pakistan,” Psaki said.

The shipment of 2.5 million doses landed in Pakistan on July 2, making it the first time the Moderna vaccine had arrived in the country.

Subsequently, the government had announced the availability of the Moderna vaccine at select vaccination centres across the country, starting July 5.

Criteria to qualify for the Moderna vaccine

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has outlined the criteria that must be met by the recipient of the Moderna vaccine.

The vaccine will be administered to the following categories, provided they are 18 years of age or older and have NOT received any other currently available COVID-19 vaccines.

A. Those with comorbid conditions, e.g diabetes, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, renal failure, chronic liver disease, malignancy, etc.

– Those who are chronically immunosuppressed

1. Post organ transplantation, the patient may receive the vaccine 3 months after

transplantation procedure.

2. Post chemotherapy, the patient may receive the vaccine 28 days after chemotherapy.

B. Individuals with a mandatory requirement of vaccination for travel

– Overseas workers who have a mandatory need for travel for employment overseas with valid work visas/iqama in a country where Chinese vaccines are not accepted at present

– Students

– Those travelling for official or business purposes

Women who are pregnant and lactating, falling under the above-listed categories CAN receive the Moderna vaccine.

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Ontario reports slight increase in new COVID-19 cases, per cent positivity rate rises – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Ontario is reporting a slight increase in new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the province’s per cent positivity rate rises.

Officials are reporting 172 new cases of COVID-19 today with two additional deaths.

The province reported 170 new cases on Saturday and 192 on Friday.

The seven-day rolling average remains at 159, compared to 153 a week ago.

Provincial labs processed more than 13,902 test specimens, generating a positivity rate of at least 1.1 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

The province’s virus-related death toll stands at 9,313.

Another 144 people recovered from the disease yesterday, resulting in 1,450 active cases across the province.

Right now, there are 88 people in hospital current infected with COVID-19 and 127 patients being treated in intensive care, according to the Ministry of Health.

The hospitalization data presented by the province has been skewed over the past several weeks, which may be explained by a delay in patient reporting.  

Where are the new cases?

Officials are reporting 48 new cases in Toronto, 23 in Peel Region, 11 in Durham Region and 11 in Hamilton.

Update on COVID-19 variants of concern

The Ministry of Health is reporting 131 new cases of the Alpha variant Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to ​​145,386.

Officials reported 16 new cases of Delta variant, B.1.617.2, Sunday and the case total is now 3,913.

Three cases of the Beta variant, B.1.351, were also recorded. So far, there have been a total of 1,492 cases of the Beta variant reported in Ontario.

As for the Gamma variant, P.1, two new cases were recorded today. The total number of Gamma variants recorded in Ontario is now 5,142.

Vaccination update

The province said it administered 103,812 doses of COVID-19 vaccines Saturday.

Throughout Ontario’s seven-month vaccination campaign, over 18.9 million needles have gone into arms.

As of Sunday, 8,569,752 people have received both doses and are considered to be fully vaccinated.

Backstory:

 

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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Rio Tinto smelter workers go on strike in Kitimat, B.C. – Business News – Castanet.net

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Approximately 900 Rio Tinto workers at the company’s aluminum smelting facilities in Kitimat, B.C. have gone on strike.

The walkout began today at one minute after midnight. Unifor Local 2301, which represents the workers, had issued a 72-hour strike notice after nearly seven weeks of negotiations.

Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President, says the strike comes down to what he calls “Rio Tinto’s greed and lack of respect” for the union members working at the Kitimat smelting facilities.

The union says it has proposed the first changes to workers’ retirement income and benefit levels in more than a decade, including moving younger workers to defined benefit from defined contribution pension plans.

It also says negotiations have focused on a backlog of more than 300 grievances resulting from the company’s use of contractors and its refusal to hire full-time workers.

Bargaining had continued up until the strike deadline, and the company had earlier said that it was “committed to working with the union to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.”

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