This module provides a concise summary of selected Canadian economic events, as well as international and financial market developments by calendar month. It is intended to provide contextual information only to support users of the economic data published by Statistics Canada. In identifying major events or developments, Statistics Canada is not suggesting that these have a material impact on the published economic data in a particular reference month.
All information presented here is obtained from publicly available news and information sources, and does not reflect any protected information provided to Statistics Canada by survey respondents.
- Calgary-based Seven Generations Energy Ltd. announced it had reached an agreement to acquire assets in the Musreau/Kakwa area of west Central Alberta from Paramount Resources Ltd., also of Calgary, for $1.9 billion. The companies said the deal is expected to close in August 2016 subject to Paramount shareholder approval and other customary closing conditions.
- Toronto-based Centerra Gold Inc. and Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. of Denver announced they had entered into a definitive arrangement agreement whereby Centerra will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Thompson Creek for approximately USD $1.1 billion. The companies said they anticipate the transactions will close in the fall of 2016, subject to Thompson Creek shareholder, court, and regulatory approvals.
- Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp. announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its 50% ownership interest in Access Pipeline to Wolf Midstream Inc., a portfolio company of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, for $1.4 billion. The company said it expects the deal to close in the third quarter of 2016 subject to regulatory approval.
- Calgary-based Nexen Energy ULC announced it would begin moving its Long Lake Upgrader into winter preservation mode with no planned date to return to full service. The company said the move would result in a staff reduction of approximately 350 employees, most of which will be complete by the end of 2016. The Upgrader had been operating in idle mode following an explosion at the Long Lake facility in January.
- Minnesota-based The Mosaic Company announced it would idle its Colonsay, Saskatchewan potash mine east of Saskatoon for the remainder of 2016 and halt current turnaround activities. The company said approximately 330 employees had received temporary layoff notices.
- Calgary-based Encana Corporation announced it was increasing its 2016 capital investment by USD $200 million to between USD $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion.
- Calgary-based Suncor Energy Inc. announced that all Oil Sands assets had returned to normal production rates after being shut in due to the forest fires and the completion of turnarounds at Oil Sands Base and Syncrude.
- The Bank of Canada announced on July 13th that it was maintaining the target for the overnight rate at 0.5%. The last change in the target for the overnight rate was a 25 basis-point reduction announced in July 2015.
- Eligible Canadian families began receiving their first monthly Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment on July 20th. The new CCB replaces the Canada Child Tax Benefit. The maximum annual benefit under the new CCB will be up to $6,400 per child under the age of 6 and up to $5,400 per child aged 6 through 17.
- Effective July 1st, the provincial portion of the HST in Newfoundland and Labrador increased from 8% to 10%, bringing the total HST rate to 15% as announced in the province's 2016 budget. Also effective July 1st, the provincial portion of the HST in New Brunswick increased from 8% to 10%, bringing the total HST rate to 15% as announced in the province's 2016 budget.
- The government of British Columbia announced that an additional property transfer tax rate of 15% will apply to purchasers of residential real estate in Metro Vancouver who are foreign nationals or foreign-controlled corporations. The government said the new transfer tax rate will take effect on August 2nd 2016.
- On July 11th, the government of Canada announced it had a signed the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA). Both countries will now proceed with their respective domestic implementation processes to bring the CUFTA into force.
United States and other international news
- The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) maintained the target range for the federal funds interest rate at 0.25% to 0.50%. The last change in the target range was a 25 basis point increase announced in December 2015.
- The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to maintain the Bank Rate at 0.5% and to maintain the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £375 billion.
- The European Central Bank (ECB) left the interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem unchanged at 0.00%. Interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility were also left unchanged at 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively.
- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced it would continue to apply a -0.1% interest rate to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the BoJ. The BoJ also said it would increase its purchases of exchange-traded funds so that their amount outstanding would increase at an annual pace of about ¥6 trillion, up from a previous pace of about ¥3.3 trillion.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained the cash rate at 1.75%. The last change in the cash rate was a 25 basis point reduction in May 2016.
- Sweden's Riksbank left its main interest rate, the repo rate, unchanged at -0.5%. The last change in the repo rate was a 15 basis point cut in February 2016.
- Paris-based Danone and WhiteWave Foods Company of Denver announced they had entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Danone will acquire WhiteWave for a total enterprise value of approximately USD $12.5 billion. The companies said they expect the transaction to close by the end of 2016, subject to regulatory and WhiteWave's shareholder approvals.
- New York-based Thomson Reuters announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Intellectual Property and Science business to private equity funds affiliated with Onex Corporation of Toronto and Baring Private Equity Asia of China for USD $3.55 billion. The company said it expects the sale to close in the next few months subject to regulatory approval.
- Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) and ARM Holdings plc of the UK announced they had reached an agreement under which SBG would acquire ARM for a total acquisition price of approximately USD $31.0 billion. The companies said they expect the closing of the acquisition to occur in the third quarter of 2016, subject to ARM shareholder and English court approvals.
- New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. of California announced they had entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon would acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately USD $4.83 billion. The companies said they expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to Yahoo shareholder and regulatory approvals.
- California-based Oracle Corporation announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NetSuite Inc., also of California, for approximately USD $9.3 billion. The company said it expects the transaction to close in 2016, subject to NetSuite shareholder and regulatory approvals.
- California-based Microsoft Corporation announced it plans to reduce approximately 2,850 roles globally by the end of the fiscal year 2017. The company said these were in addition to the elimination of 1,850 positions previously announced in May 2016.
Financial market news
- Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $41.60 per barrel on July 29th, down from USD $48.33 at the end of June. The Canadian dollar closed at 76.59 cents U.S. on July 29th, down from 77.42 cents U.S. on June 30th. The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed at 14,582.74 on July 29th, up from 14,064.54 at the end of June.