Petronas extends takeover bid for Progress in hopes of winning approval

CALGARY — Petronas Canada has extended the deadline for its takeover bid for Progress Energy Resources Corp. in hopes it will be able to salvage the deal.The federal government derailed the $6-billion takeover of the Calgary-based company earlier this month after it denied it approval under the Investment Canada Act.Petronas says the deadline had been extended by 30 days to Nov. 30 and may be extended again.However, Petronas says it has met with Industry Canada and plans to submit a revised proposal in hopes of winning approval.The Petronas-Progress decision comes as Ottawa also weighs the more politically troublesome $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen Inc. by China National Offshore Oil Co.A key issue with both deals is that the bidders are state-controlled companies, raising concerns about how much control of Canadian resources should be in the hands of foreign governments. read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

Some of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,211.87, up 78.74 points):Element Fleet Management Corp. (TSX:EFN). Financial Services. Up 37 cents, or 4.12 per cent, to $9.36 on 11.2 million shares.Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD). Bank. Up $2.16, or 3.33 per cent, to $67.06 on 8.1 million shares. TD Bank wrapped up the banks’ earnings season Thursday with a 17 per cent increase in profits to $2.77 billion, anchored by a strong performance at its retail operations in both Canada and the United States.Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). Miner. Up one cent, or 0.70 per cent, to $1.44 on 7.9 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Up 34 cents, or 3.61 per cent, to $9.77 on 4.9 million shares.Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX:LAC). Miner. Up five cents, or 4.10 per cent, to $1.27 on 4.4 million shares.Hydro One Ltd. Instalment Receipts (TSX:H.IR). Utilities. Down 21 cents, or 0.53 per cent, to $39.29 on 4.2 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS). Bank. Down three cents, or 0.04 per cent, to $77.69 on 2.5 million shares. The Toronto-based bank is looking at buying BBVA Chile, which is in a strategically important high-growth market. It acknowledged Thursday that it’s in “non-binding, exploratory” discussions with the Chilean company’s controlling shareholder.First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM). Miner. Up 15 cents, or 1.01 per cent, to $15.05 on 3.5 million shares. The Toronto-based miner is spending US$635 million to boost its stake in the Cobre Panama mining project to 90 per cent. The deal will see First Quantum increase its stake by 10 per cent by securing part of Korean metal producer LS-Nikko Copper’s stake in the project.Magna International Inc. (TSX:MG). Auto parts. Up $1.28, or 2.18 per cent, to $60.09 on 1.1 million shares. The Toronto-area company has unveiled its new autonomous driving platform it says can be integrated into any vehicle. The MAX4 uses cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors that can be imbedded in any vehicle, including hybrid and electric versions, to allow up to Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities in urban and highway settings. read more

Canadian tech firms receive 11B from investors in Q3 report finds

TORONTO — A new report says Canada’s venture-capital backed companies received about $1.1 billion from investors in the third quarter of the year, with artificial intelligence firms bringing in a record amount so far this year.The PwC Canada report says 81 deals in the quarter accounted for a 21 per cent jump in activity and 110 per cent increase in funding from the previous quarter.The growth comes after two quarters of declining investment, and the quarter represents a two-year high.PwC Canada says artificial intelligence companies have received a record year of funding in 2017’s first three quarters, accounting for roughly $244 million in 22 deals.Fintech companies have received about $256 million in 27 deals so far in 2017.National technology sector leader Chris Dulny says in a statement the firm looks forward to a strong close to the year. read more

Canadian Minister to have talks with Lankan government

A top Canadian minister is to have talks with the Sri Lankan government over the weekend, the Canadian High Commission said today.The High Commission said that Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism will meet the government regarding Canada’s role in cracking down on human smuggling operations as well as recent changes in the Canadian asylum system. While his visit is purely to discuss immigration related issues, it also comes as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper contemplates if he will attend the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka later this year. The Canadian government said recently that Harper will not attend CHOGM in Sri Lanka unless there is an improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Chrystiane Roy had told The Sunday Leader that the Canadian government feels the Sri Lankan government continues to fail victims and survivors of the war.The spokesperson also said that Canada is ‘deeply troubled’ by recent reports of intimidation of judges in Sri Lanka, and reiterate the importance of judicial independence. read more

PCCSL receives 30 complaints

The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 30 complaints during the first quarter of this year, the PCCSL said in its latest newsletter.Of the complaints, 16 were against Sinhala newspapers, 08 against Tamil newspapers and 2 against English newspapers. The PCCSL said it had also received 4 complaints which were not concerning newspapers. The PCCSL had received the most number of complaints during the first quarter of this year in the month of February  which was 15. Bound by the Editors’ Code, the PCCSL looks to resolve complaints in a fast, free and fair procedure. Of the complaints received during the first quarter the PCCSL said it had resolved 8 cases which is 61.50 percent of the complaints.The PCCSL provides a voluntary self regulatory method to resolve inaccuracies that may occur in newspapers, magazines, journals and online editions of newspapers. read more

Mahindas military security removed and replaced with police

“As security deteriorates, how can Govt justify removing Army protection of @PresRajapaksa-only #SriLanka leader to end brutal terrorist war?” Namal Rajapaksa tweeted.The joint opposition had raised concerns over Nation security after a suicide jacket and explosives were found in the North recently. (Colombo Gazette) The military security provided to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been removed and replaced with police security.Rajapaksa’s son Namal Rajapaksa said the Government cannot justify the decision to remove the military security provided to the former President. read more

Presidents decision on foreign judges in war probe will be final

President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision on the involvement of foreign judges in the investigation on incidents related to the war will be the final decision, a Government Minister said today.Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the President has made clear foreign judges will not be invited to be part of the domestic accountability process. President Maithripala Sirisena recently emphasized that he will not allow any foreign court, judge or organization to interfere in the internal administration and judiciary in the country. He also said he will not allow any national or international activity to take place which challenges the freedom, independence and the territorial integrity of the country.Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera however had said that no final decision had been taken and that everything will depend on the outcome of an ongoing consultation process. Several countries, at the recently concluded UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, had called for international participation in the accountability process.Earlier this year UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon had also called for international participation in the judicial mechanism when investigating the war in Sri Lanka.Ban ki-moon’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric had said that the Secretary‑General understands that the discussions in Sri Lanka on the transitional justice mechanism, including the judicial component, are ongoing. However he said the UN Secretary General remains hopeful that the Sri Lankan Government will stand by its commitments and fully implement a resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last year which notes the need for international participation. (Colombo Gazette) He said that when the President takes a stand and the Prime Minister also expresses a similar view that is the final decision and the matter is closed. read more

Sri Lanka expecting increase in Chinese tourist arrivals in 2017

“China is one of the most powerful countries in the world. We are targetting more Chinese arrivals and we have enough of hotels which are prepared to cater to that market,” Amaratunga said. Sri Lanka is expecting a substantial increase in Chinese tourists this year as more resorts and hotels throughout the country are putting in place to cater to the Chinese market, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said here Saturday.Amaratunga told Xinhua that with China becoming the number one outbound tourism market in 2016, Sri Lanka too was gearing up to welcome more Chinese tourists. He added that Sri Lanka Tourism was continuing its promotion campaigns in the major cities across China.According to the latest report released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, China was once again named the number one market in the world with the highest number of outbound tourists in 2016. He added that more locals were now also learning the Chinese language in order to guide the Chinese tourists and Sri Lanka had in the first quarter of this year already received several inquiries from Chinese travel agents. read more