Canadian banks announced they were raising their prime lending rates after the Bank of Canada surprised markets by hiking it benchmark interest rate on June 7.
Nissan still pursuing ex-chairman Ghosn for ‘misconduct’
TOKYO- Tokyo prosecutors issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for the wife of Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, on suspicion of perjury, adding to the couple’s legal troubles in the country where he once was revered as a star executive.
The move against Carole Ghosn, who is not in Japan, followed her husband’s flight to Lebanon last week while he was out on bail awaiting trial for alleged financial misconduct.
Details on the allegations against Carole Ghosn were not immediately available. Japanese officials have said anyone caught helping a fugitive escape will face legal consequences.
Carole Ghosn was banned from meeting with her husband while he was out on bail because she was seen as someone who might help his escape.
Earlier Tuesday, Ghosn’s former employer, Nissan Motor Co., said it was still pursuing legal action against him despite his escape from Japan to Lebanon.
The Japanese automaker said in a statement that Ghosn engaged in serious misconduct while leading the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance.
“The company will continue to take appropriate legal action to hold Ghosn accountable for the harm that his misconduct has caused to Nissan,” it said without giving details.
Japan’s chief government spokesperson told reporters Tokyo has told Lebanon that Ghosn left the country illegally and was seeking co-operation in finding out what happened.
No extradition deal between Japan and Lebanon
Japan and Lebanon do not have an extradition treaty. Experts have said it would be difficult to bring Ghosn back to stand trial in Tokyo and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the situation had to be handled carefully.
The Foreign Ministry said the Japan’s ambassador to Beirut planned to meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun later in the day.
He managed to skip bail and leave the country despite heavy surveillance while he was staying at a home in Tokyo.
Japanese news reports Tuesday gave new details of that escape, saying he left his residence alone, met two men at a Tokyo hotel, and then took a bullet train to Osaka before boarding a private jet hidden inside a case for musical equipment. Prosecutors are investigating why the cargo was not inspected before it was loaded, the broadcaster NHK and financial newspaper Nikkei said, citing unnamed sources.
The jet used, made by Canada’s Bombadier, is designed to allow easy access between its passenger and cargo compartments.
The Nikkei report said dozens of people in various countries helped to plan his clandestine departure.
Ghosn expected to speak this week
Nissan’s statement was the first word from the company since Ghosn’s flight last week. The automaker and Japanese prosecutors allege Ghosn misstated his future compensation and diverted company assets for personal gain. He says he is innocent.
Ghosn has not appeared in public since arriving in Lebanon. He is expected to give his side of the story in a news conference planned for Wednesday in Beirut.
Earlier, he said the allegations against him were concocted by Nissan, Japanese authorities and others who wanted to block efforts toward a fuller merger between Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault SA.
Ghosn said in a statement last week that he wanted to escape “injustice.” Critics of the Japanese judicial system say his case exemplifies its tendency to move too slowly and keep suspects in detention for too long.
Nissan said in its statement that an investigation is ongoing in France, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has found some wrongdoing.
Ghosn has not been charged in France or the U.S.
Tighter border controls
Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori said Japan would tighten border control precautions to prevent a recurrence. She did not confirm reports that Ghosn left via the Kansai Airport in Osaka, hidden inside a musical equipment box as he was brought aboard a private jet and flown first to Turkey and then to Lebanon.
Mori told reporters Tuesday that all airports will be required to check all cargo and luggage, including items destined for private jets.
She reiterated her defence of the justice system and denounced Ghosn’s escape as an “unjustifiable” crime. She said each nation’s system has its own way of making arrests and granting bail.
The scandal over Ghosn’s case has tarnished Nissan’s image and created a leadership vacuum at a time when the automaker’s profits and sales are tumbling. Ghosn’s successor Hiroto Saikawa also resigned last year amid financial misconduct allegations related to questionable income.
“Nissan will continue to do the right thing by cooperating with judicial and regulatory authorities wherever necessary,” the Yokohama-based company said.
Although Ghosn is unlikely to face trial in Japan, Greg Kelly, another Nissan former executive, is still facing charges of under-reporting Ghosn’s future compensation. He says he is innocent.
Kelly, an American, who is out on bail, has not been charged with the breach of trust allegations Ghosn is also facing.
Nissan has also been charged as a corporate entity. The company says it won’t fight the charges and will pay the required fines.
Rob Carrick: What the Bank of Canada rate hike means for investors and savers who want to park money safely – The Globe and Mail
The benefit of parking cash in a high-interest savings account ETF was demonstrated this week after the latest increase in the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate.
The central bank raised its trendsetting rate by a quarter of a percentage point Wednesday. Almost immediately, the yield on HISA exchange-traded funds increased by a similar amount. For example, the gross yield on the Horizons High Interest Savings ETF CASH-T was 5.18 per cent late this week, up from 4.93 per cent late last month. CASH has a management expense ratio of 0.11 per cent, so its net yield is now 5.07 per cent.
Changes in the overnight rate do not directly influence returns from guaranteed investment certificates, but there’s an indirect effect that right now is working in favour of GIC investors. The Bank of Canada is worried about inflation – that’s why it increased the overnight rate. Inflation fears are also weighing on the bond market, where rates have been moving higher as well lately. Yields on Government of Canada bonds influence rates on GICs, which have been creeping higher lately for terms of one and two years.
As of late this week, the number of alternative banks, trust companies and credit unions offering 5 per cent for one year had grown to seven, and the number offering 5 per cent for two years was four. The best three-year rate was 4.95 per cent. GIC issuers have been reluctant to raise rates on longer terms, but this could change if bond yields keep rising.
HISA ETFs accounted for two of the top 10 sellers last month in ETF land, even though they are under review by the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. These funds hold their assets in accounts at big banks that pay rates of return that are superior to what’s offered to retail depositors. Regulators at OSFI are looking into what would happen to banks if investors were to pull all their money from HISA ETFs at once. OSFI may order changes that will lower returns on HISA ETFs.
As a hedge against this outcome, some ETF providers recently introduced funds holding government treasury bills. T-bill yields have been rising lately as a result of the same inflation concerns that drove the Bank of Canada rate increase this week. T-bill ETF yields would benefit if this continues.
HISAs for investors are also available in a mutual fund format. Rates on these products have been stuck in the 4.05 to 4.35 per cent range in recent months.
Indigo shakeup: Heather Reisman retiring, 4 other board members stepping down
The company says director Chika Stacy Oriuwa indicated she resigned “because of her loss of confidence in board leadership and because of mistreatment.”
In addition to Oriuwa, Indigo says Frank Clegg, Howard Grosfield and Anne Marie O’Donovan have also stepped down as directors. No explanation for their departures was given.
Indigo CEO Heather Reisman talks about creating a happier planet in her new book ‘Imagine It!’
Indigo wished the departing directors well and thanked them for their contributions.
The retailer says Reisman will retire as executive chair and from the board effective Aug. 22.
Reisman stepped down as chief executive of Indigo last year as part a transition that saw Peter Ruis, who had been the retailer’s president, promoted to chief executive.
Canadian banks raise prime rate to 6.95% after Bank of Canada hike
Big banks follow suit after surprise quarter-point hike
Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of Montreal, National Bank of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia all said they were increasing the prime rate by 25 basis points to 6.95 per cent from 6.70 per cent, effective June 8, 2023.
Desjardins Group and Equitable Bank also announced it would raise its Canadian prime rate by the same amount.
The Bank of Canada surprised markets and observers when it raised its benchmark policy rate by a quarter percentage point to 4.75 per cent earlier in the day.
The central bank has raised its rate nine times, and 4.5 percentage points, since March 2022, and the commercial banks’ prime rate has moved in lockstep from 2.7 per cent to 6.95 per cent.
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