72513 Canadians grow richer as average net worth tops 400000

Sign up for the Executive Summary email briefing to get the news delivered straight to your inbox first thing in the morning.[np_storybar title=”Markets: By the numbers” link=””]Japan’s Nikkei 14,562.93 -168.35 -1.14%China’s Shanghai 2,021.17 -12.16 -0.60%Hong Kong’s Hang Seng21,900.96 -67.97 -0.31%Australia’s S&P/ASX2005,035.60 +0,50 +0.01%[/np_storybar]A new calculation shows Canadians are getting richer even though they may be among the most indebted in the world. The report by Environics Analytics says Canadian average household net worth topped $400,000 at the end of 2012 for the first time in history at $400,151, thanks to a 5.8% pickup during the year. The report attributes the improvement to a 5.4% increase in liquid assets and a 5.1 gain in real estate values, in conjunction with a more modest 3.3% rise in debt. The new data shows the Canadian households are still richer than their American counterparts, which had a US$381,086 average wealth at the end of 2012. But the gap is closing. That’s because while Canadian household debt rose modestly by 3.3%, in the U.S. debt actually declined by 2.4% last year. But debt accumulation has slowed markedly since last July, when Ottawa imposed stricter mortgage rules to slow down the housing market. The Bank of Canada has long warned that Canadian households owe too much, at more than 160% of annual disposable income. The household wealth calculation does not take into account government debt, which is far higher in the U.S. than Canada. The data shows households in Regina had the biggest jump in net worth last year, rising 11.2% to $391,826. That was fuelled by the strongest growth in real estate holdings among cities and the second fastest rise in liquid assets, behind Saskatoon, Environics Analytics said. Hamilton experienced the second fastest growth in net worth among major cities, up 9.5% to $420,515. Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto remain Canada’s wealthiest cities.Related: Savvy millennials get an early start on investing — Financial PostMassive writedown for Goldcorp Goldcorp Inc. reported an enormous net loss of US$1.93-billion in the second quarter after taking a big writedown on the Penasquito mine in Mexico, reports the Financial Post‘s Peter Koven. The news overshadowed disappointing adjusted earnings, though the company maintained its full-year guidance. The US$1.96-billion writedown reflects the exploration potential of Penasquito, Vancouver-based Goldcorp said. It is the company’s first major impairment charge this year, as it previously avoided the writedowns that have plagued competitors like Barrick Gold Corp. and Kinross Gold Corp.Related: Get ready for a turbulent gold earnings season — Financial PostMore BlackBerry layoffsBlackBerry Ltd has laid off about 250 of its employees at its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, as part of its latest move to trim costs, the smartphone maker said on Thursday. “This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company,” a BlackBerry spokeswoman said. The company, which last year cut thousands of jobs, recently hinted that more reductions were in the offing. Last month, BlackBerry reported dismal quarterly results, which triggered a 28 percent plunge in its share price.Related: BlackBerry layoffs could hit thousands — ReutersEarnings, earnings, earningsAnother busy day on the earnings front. Some of the more notable headlines: Second quarter earnings came in below expectations at Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. as the company faced lower nutrient prices and potash sales volumes. It also slashed its full-year outlook. General Motors Co.’s second-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates, helped by a surge in U.S. pickup sales, as the company begins to refresh its lineup with new trucks to go with the heralded Impala sedan. Husky Energy produced a 40% increase in second-quarter profits, beating analyst estimates, as it benefited from lower capital spending as well as higher prices for its products and higher refinery margins.Hedge fund SAC Capital indictedSAC Capital Advisors LP, the US$14-billion hedge fund founded by Steven A. Cohen, was indicted by a U.S. grand jury as part of the government’s six-year crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street. Federal prosecutors on Thursday unveiled criminal fraud charges against billionaire Steven A. Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LP, capping the probe into one of Wall Street’s most renowned firms. The indictment accused SAC and various affiliates of four counts of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud. Cohen was charged last week in a civil case by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the hedge fund said it would fight the charges.Related: Lawyer for SAC’s Cohen: Don’t call him ‘Stevey’ — Financial Post SEC sues billionaire hedge fund founder Steven Cohen for failing to prevent insider trading — Associated PressBell Canada to Ottawa: Close ‘unfair’ foreign ownership loopholesBell Canada has joined Rogers Communications in calling for Ottawa to change its policy on foreign ownership of Canadian wireless communications networks. The two rivals say they have been put at an unfair disadvantage by a federal policy that allows foreign carriers to buy small Canadian wireless carriers while denying the big domestic carriers the same opportunities. The CEO of Toronto-based Rogers called on Wednesday for a level playing field. Bell Canada — the main operation of BCE Inc. — says today that it’s calling on the federal government to immediately close loopholes in its policy.Related: Telus CEO Entwistle warns of ‘bloodbath’ if Verizon has advantage in wireless spectrum auction — Financial PostIs $300-million in synergies too high for Loblaw-Shoppers deal?Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is being overly optimistic in projecting $300-million of synergies in three years after the purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart Ltd., according to a leading industry analyst. “There are numerous complexities that make ‘health and wellness and urbanization’ [the two prevalent industry trends that Loblaw sees itself handily leveraging in the proposed $12.4-billion deal] easier to say than to do,” Perry Caicco, a retail analyst at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a research report on Thursday. The analyst, who maintained a price target of $53 and sector performer recommendation on the shares, sees the $300-million synergy figure as “difficult to attain,” and cited a number of concerns about potential sales synergies from merging the two largest retailers of food and drug.Judge certifies class action against Manulife FinancialAn Ontario judge has certified an investors class action lawsuit against Manulife Financial Corp. The plaintiffs claim that Manulife misrepresented and failed to disclose the size of the company’s exposure to equity markets during the financial crisis of 2008. The class period starts on April 1, 2004 and runs until Feb. 12, 2009, which was the day that Manulife ultimately disclosed the extent of its losses during the 2008 fiscal year. Manulife shares plummeted in the days following the Feb. 12 announcement. The class is open to investors outside Quebec who purchased Manulife common shares during the class period.Related: Investors take first steps to possible Manulife class action over annuities — Financial Post

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