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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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The United Kingdom has taken a giant leap toward making Brexit a reality, as voters handed Boris Johnson a majority mandate in yesterday’s general election. So the stage is set for the U.K. to separate from the European Union at the end of January before the difficult task of negotiating future economic relations with the bloc begins. Beyond the continental considerations, we’ll explore the implications for Canada’s trade ties with the U.K. (and for Canadian companies that are on the ground in London) and U.S. President Donald Trump’s next big trade target, as he intimated in a tweet this morning.

WAITING FOR PHASE ONE CONFIRMATION

Still no official word on the “BIG DEAL” that Trump said was “VERY close” yesterday morning. Reports indicate the president has given a green light for the agreement that would avert Sunday’s scheduled escalation in tariff rates and potentially also reduce existing levies. For its part, China is said to have agreed to ramp up purchases of U.S. agricultural products. Still though, nothing has been formally confirmed by either country.

ONTARIO CONFIRMS POT LICENSING OVERHAUL

In some ways, it’s old news for us considering David George-Cosh’s scoop a couple weeks ago. Doug Ford’s government is abandoning the lottery-based licensing system that left the province with only a couple dozen stores and created headaches for the country’s licensed producers (and investors). Starting in January, an open application system will take effect that will initially result in 20 new store authorizations per month as of April, and ultimately allow licensees to operate up to 75 stores.

POWER CORP. OVERHAUL

Big overhaul announced by the Power group of companies this morning. In short: Power Financial shares are being swapped for Power Corp. shares (and a small dividend) in a move that will do away with the dual holding company structure, pending all necessary approvals. In conjunction, Paul Desmarais Jr. and Andre Desmarais are planning to step down as co-CEOs of the parent company, with current Power Financial CEO Jeffrey Orr poised to become sole chief executive of the conglomerate. Power Corp says it’s expecting significant cost savings as a result and is planning to raise its quarterly dividend 10 per cent. 

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

-Credit Suisse’s Canadian banks analyst, Mike Rizvanovic, says he’s “more concerned” about the outlook for the country’s banks on the back of fourth-quarter earnings season. As a result, he downgraded Scotia to Neutral and upgraded RBC to Outperform (citing its relative advantage thanks to scale).

-West Texas Intermediate oil traded at US$60.00 per barrel this morning for the first time since September.

-Bloomberg is reporting a big block trade of 2.6 million Lululemon shares yesterday was a full exit by Advent, one of the apparel maker’s top shareholders.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

-Notable earnings: U.S. retail sales

-Notable data: Canadian national balance sheet and financial flow accounts

-9:00 a.m. ET: Canadian Transportation Agency Chair Scott Streiner and Transport Minister Marc Garneau launch final provisions off Air Passenger Protection Regulations at Ottawa International Airport

-10:00 a.m. ET: Volkswagen appears before Ontario Court in Toronto re. charges of violating Canadian Environmental Protection Act

-11:00 a.m. ET: Ontario Securities Commission hearing re. Catalyst Capital-HBC

-11:00 a.m. ET: Trans Mountain President Ian Anderson among speakers at Greater Vancouver Board of Trade hosts Energy Forum

-2:00 p.m. ET: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland meeting with Quebec Premier Francois Legault in Montreal

Every morning BNN Bloomberg's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN Bloomberg's editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight that day. Have it delivered to your inbox before the trading day begins by heading to www.bnnbloomberg.ca/subscribe