Finance (International)

OFSI tackling interference

Foreign interference and national-security issues in Canada’s banking and insurance sectors are in the sights of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. “Over the two years that I’ve been Superintendent, geopolitical risk and its offshoots have increased in significance,” says Peter Routledge. “There’s a possibility that that intensity metastasizes over into the financial system, and we want our institutions ready to adapt.” [node:read-more:link]

Supporting Romanian reactors

Canada is lending Romania up to $3 billion for completion of two Candu nuclear reactors. Announcing the funding September 20, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the funds will be directed to Canadian companies working on the project. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian jailed in Algeria

Raouf Farrah, a Canadian who studies North African and Sahel migration and criminal economies for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, has been sentenced to two years in prison after a one-day trial in Algeria. He is alleged to have published secret information while being paid to commit offences against public order, but the Geneva-based GIATOC says the charges are without merit. [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian oligarch in custody

Suspected of fraud and money laundering, Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, is in custody for two months pending further investigation. The Ukranian-born Israeli-Cypriot billionaire, a former governor of Dnipro, is alleged to have transferred funds abroad over seven years through banks he controlled. [node:read-more:link]

More Belarusia sanctions

Nine Belarusian nationals and seven military entities have been added to Canada’s list of sanctions three years after Russian ally Alexander Lukashenko won a presidential election widely construed as rigged. [node:read-more:link]

Aid to Niger government stopped

Canada has suspended direct financial assistance to Niger’s government in the aftermath of a coup but said August 6 that it will maintain aid for vulnerable civilians. Coup leaders rejected a weekend deadline from Economic Community of West African States to reinstate the deposed government. [node:read-more:link]

Economic ripples from port strike

A strike by 7,400 dock and warehouse workers at 30 West Coast ports, now in its second week, is sending ripples across the Canadian economy. Employers, pressing the federal government to intervene, said today that an estimated $775-million in daily trade is being disrupted. [node:read-more:link]

Cryptofund accused of lying

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has been accused by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission of lying to regulators and investors and transferring “billions of dollars” to a separate company controlled by its Canadian co-founder, Chinese expatriate Changpeng Zhao. “We allege that Zhao and the Binance entities not only knew the rules of the road, but they also consciously chose to evade them and put their customers and investors at risk,” the SEC’s director of enforcement said today. [node:read-more:link]

Cliff-hanger U.S. budget bill

After months of brutal political infighting in Congress, President Joe Biden today signed into law a bill to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling for two years. “If we had failed to reach an agreement on the budget, there were extreme voices threatening to take America, for the first time in our 247-year, into default on our national debt,” Biden said. “Nothing would have been more irresponsible.” Without the legislation, the U.S. would have been in default June 5 and most federal programs would have been affected. [node:read-more:link]

Quebec company penalized for bribery

A Quebec company, Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology, has agreed to pay some $10.5 million in a case involving attempted bribery of Philippines officials as it sought police contracts. This is according to a statement of facts about a court-approved deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution in Canada, only the second deferred prosecution deal since the Criminal Code was amended in 2018 to address corporate malfeasance. Charges against four executives have been conditionally stayed. [node:read-more:link]

CHINA: Friend or Foe?

Investigators around the world have long been uncovering criminal Triad activity, but many countries do not seem to have the political will to effectively try to thwart the se finely honed organizations. [node:read-more:link]

More sanctions against Russia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the other G7 leaders kicked off their summit in Japan today by announcing new sanctions against 17 Russian individuals and 18 “entities” due to human rights abuses in Ukraine. They also announced new funding they said will help to guard against nuclear weapon proliferation. [node:read-more:link]

PM’s brother defends donation

Alexandre Trudeau, brother of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, told a parliamentary ethics committee May 3 that he signed off on a controversial donation to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation only to permit the University of Montreal permission to use their father’s name. The committee is probing a $200,000 donation by two men with links to the Chinese government but the PM’s brother called the inquiry “a waste of time” because “there is not a foreign interference issue […] at the foundation.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. benchmark rate increased

The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised the range of its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to a 5-5.25 per cent range, its highest in 16 years as it tries to stabilize inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell signalled May 3 that if inflation continues to ease, the rate would remain at that level. [node:read-more:link]

New World Bank head confirmed

Ajay Banga, 63, who headed Mastercard for 11 years before joining a private equity firm in 2021, has been elected president of the World Bank, effective June 2. U.S. President Joe Biden, who nominated him in February, said the Indo-American “will be a transformative leader, bringing expertise, experience, and innovation” to the bank as it faces a growing list of global challenges. [node:read-more:link]


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