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TMCNet:  Business News as of 6 p.m. ET

[January 10, 2013]

Business News as of 6 p.m. ET

(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THURSDAY, JAN. 10 6 p.m. ET BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of 6 p.m. ET. All times Eastern unless otherwise stated. Coverage plans are included when available. Entries are subject to change as news develops.

Queries should be addressed to the business desk at 416-507-2138. To reach CP Business by email, send messages to business(at)

____ TOP BUSINESS NEWS THIS HOUR ___ Astral has 65 consecutive profitable quarters Astral-Media MONTREAL _ Astral Media Inc. delivered its "single largest quarter" of growth as the specialty TV, radio and outdoor advertising company awaits regulatory approval of a friendly takeover by BCE Inc.Astral said Thursday that its first-quarter profit increased to $59.6 million or $1.05 per diluted share, with revenue growth from all three divisions despite an uncertain advertising market.

___ Jean Coutu Q3 profit beats estimates Jean-Coutu MONTREAL _ Jean Coutu expects that next week's elimination of price protection for dozens of brand-name drugs in Quebec will boost its growing generic drug company and help offset future government cuts.The provincial government announced in its November budget the elimination of safeguards implemented in 1994 that protect brand-name drug producers from generic alternatives for 15 years.

___ Building plans dropped in November: StatsCan Building-Permits OTTAWA _ There are more signs that the Canadian housing market is losing steam, with data showing new building permits hitting their lowest point since January 2012 _ suggesting builders have slowed their construction plans.Statistics Canada said Thursday that municipalities issued building permits worth $6.2 billion in November, down 17.9 per cent from October, a much steeper drop than the 7.6 per cent month-to-month decline economists had been expecting.

___ Macklem says economic momentum soft Macklem-Economy KINGSTON _ Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem said Thursday the economy is expected to pick up this year, but sounded a note of caution amid a soft housing market and weak export demand. "Near-term momentum now appears to be slightly softer than previously anticipated," Macklem said in a speech at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

Bank of Canada could raise rates: RBC Economy-RBC TORONTO _ An improvement in the U.S. economy this year would be a boon for Canada _ and that could push the central bank to raise interest rates before the end of the year. A global outlook from Royal Bank predicts that the Bank of Canada will boost rates by as much as half a percentage point.

Resource bounty eyed for native solutions Aboriginal-Protests-Reality-Check OTTAWA _ They can _ and they will.If the chiefs and protesters making noise across Canada have a common message for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, it's that they intend to stand in the way of his resource development ambitions if he doesn't play fair. PHOTO. Moves Business and National; With Aboriginal-Protests ___ Bombardier watching Embraer moves closely Bombardier MONTREAL _ Bombardier says its regional jets and new CSeries commercial aircraft will retain their competitive advantages even after Brazilian rival Embraer puts more fuel-efficient engines on its E-Jet family of aircraft.Embraer this week said it plans to use a variant of the Pratt & Whitney engine that will power the CSeries on a "second generation" of regional jets beginning in 2018. It will also change the wings and add a fly-by-wire system as it aims for "double-digit" improvements in fuel burn, emissions, noise and maintenance costs.

___ Beef plant got millions in loans, grants XL-Foods-Loans EDMONTON _ The owner of the Alberta beef plant being sold to a subsidiary of a Brazilian company received $15 million from the federal and Alberta governments since 2009.Agriculture Canada says of the money approved for XL Foods Inc., $2.475 million was in federal no-interest loans. Moves on both the National and Business wires; GUARD against duplication.

___ Nokia: Q4 mobile phone sales beat own forecast EU-Nokia-Outlook-Q4-Sales HELSINKI _ Nokia Corp. signalled Thursday its smartphone partnership with Microsoft was starting to reap rewards as it revealed that fourth-quarter mobile phone sales exceeded expectations and that its handset business would return to profitability.The Finnish company's share price surged 11 per cent to close at (euro)3.32 on Helsinki Stock Exchange.

___ ALSO IN THE NEWS ___ Strong Chinese trade data drives TSX higher Dollar-Markets TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market registered a solid gain Thursday, led by mining stocks as strong Chinese trade data pushed prices for oil and copper higher.The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 77.5 points to 12,599.74 while the TSX Venture Exchange was ahead 10.97 points at 1,240.08.

___ Loonie rises in wake of strong Chinese data Loonie TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar closed higher Thursday as strong Chinese trade data improved risk sentiment on financial markets.The commodity-sensitive currency gained 0.32 of a cent to 101.57 cents US as prices for oil and metals ran ahead after data showed that China's exports and imports grew substantially last month.

___ Oil rises on China trade, natural gas gains Oil-Prices NEW YORK _ The price of oil rose Thursday, propelled by a rebound in China's trade growth.Benchmark oil gained 72 cents to finish at $93.82 a barrel in New York. It has now risen more than 9 per cent in the past four weeks.

___ Toronto free daily Tonight goes weekly Tonight TORONTO _ One of Toronto's free dailies is revamping itself as a weekly under new owners. Tonight, formerly known as t.o.night, makes the leap from a five-day schedule to publishing only on Thursday starting this week. CRAFT interest ___ Indian company buys stake in Karnalyte Karnalyte-India CALGARY _ An Indian company has signed a $45-million deal to buy a 19.98 per cent stake in Karnalyte Resources Inc. (TSX:KRN), which is developing a potash project in Saskatchewan.Under the deal, Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd., has agreed to pay $8.15 per share for about 5.5 million shares.

___ Draghi says eurozone not past turning point yet EU-European-Central-Bank FRANKFURT _ European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says the euro area's struggling economy is showing early signs of improvement and should grow modestly by the end of 2013 but it is not out of the danger zone yet as it struggles with recession and too much debt.The group of 17 European Union countries that use the euro will recover gradually later this year, he said _ if governments get moving on making their economies more business-friendly. PHOTO.

___ Com Dev Q4 revenue up, but profit cut in half Com-Dev CAMBRIDGE _ Com Dev International Ltd. (TSX:CDV) says earnings dipped in the fourth quarter despite an almost 14 per cent increase in revenue.The Cambridge, Ont.,-based space technology company says net income attributable to shareholders was $2.8 million or four cents per share in the three months ended Oct. 31.

___ Herbalife defends itself against manager claims US-Herbalife-Meeting NEW YORK _ Nutritional supplements maker Herbalife came out swinging Thursday against claims made by hedge fund manager William Ackman that the business amounts to a pyramid scheme.But Ackman didn't back down, saying in a statement that Herbalife "distorted, mischaracterized, and outright ignored large portions" of Pershing Square Capital Management's December presentation. PHOTO.

___ Capstone hits 2012 targets, shares surge Capstone-Mining VANCOUVER _ Capstone Mining Corp. (TSX:CS) saw its shares rise 10 per cent Thursday after the Vancouver-based company said it met its 2012 production targets.Combined production at its two operating mines, Cozamin and Minto, came in at 19.7 million and 82.8 million pounds of copper in concentrates for the fourth quarter and full year, respectively.

___ Porter says flights operating amid strike Porter-Labour-Disruption TORONTO _ Porter Airlines says flights out of the Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto were operating normally Thursday, despite a strike by 22 employees who refuel its planes.Talks between the workers, represented by the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, and management broke down Wednesday over wages. Moves Business and Regional ___ Kinder Morgan increasing pipeline expansion Kinder-Trans-Mountain CALGARY _ Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE:KMP) is increasing the scope of its Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion in Western Canada.Subsidiary Kinder Morgan Canada said Thursday that increased long-term commitments from shippers have convinced it to ramp up the proposed expansion capacity to 890,000 barrels per day from a previously planned 750,000.

___ Ford's souped-up dividend could lure new investors US-Ford-Dividend Ford may get a longer look from curious investors after rolling out a more muscular, souped-up dividend on Thursday.The nation's No. 2 automaker is doubling its quarterly payout to 10 cents, just nine months after paying its first dividend in more than five years.

___ Porter says flights operating amid strike Porter-Labour-Disruption TORONTO _ Porter Airlines flights out of its base at the Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto were operating normally Thursday, despite a strike by 22 employees who refuel its planes, the airline said Thursday.Talks between the workers, represented by the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, and management broke down Wednesday over wages. Moves Business and Regional ___ Postmedia Q1 revenue, profit fall Postmedia TORONTO _ Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.A) had $8.3 million of net income and $26.7 million of operating income in its latest quarter, both down from a year earlier.The Toronto-based publisher's revenue also fell, dropping to $211.7 million in the three months ended Nov. 30 from $231 million a year earlier.

___ Toronto free daily Tonight goes weekly TO-Tonight TORONTO _ One of Toronto's free dailies is revamping itself as a weekly under new owners.Tonight, formerly known as T.O. Tonight, makes the leap from a five-day schedule to publishing only on Thursday starting this week. CRAFT interest; Will be updated.

___ Sandvine turns unexpected profit Sandvine WATERLOO _ Sandvine Corp. (TSX:SVC) stock bounced close to a 52-week high Thursday after the tech company reported its fourth-quarter revenue jumped 31 per cent from a year earlier and it beat analyst profit and revenue estimates.The Waterloo, Ont.-based technology company, which reports in U.S. currency, had $27.5 million in revenue and $6.5 million, or 4.6 cents per share, of net income. Moves Business and Ontario regional ___ UK detective found guilty in phone hacking scandal EU-Britain-Phone-Hacking LONDON _ A top British counterterrorism detective was found guilty Thursday of trying to sell information to one of Rupert Murdoch's tabloids, becoming the first person convicted on charges related to Britain's phone-hacking scandal since a police investigation was reopened in early 2011.Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn was charged with misconduct for phoning the News of the World tabloid and offering to pass on information about whether London's police force would reopen its stalled phone-hacking investigation. PHOTO.

___ Obama jokes Lew's loopy signature nearly cost him US-Lew's-Loopy-Signature WASHINGTON _ President Barack Obama is joking that Jack Lew's nomination as treasury secretary nearly fell through because of Lew's loopy signature.Lew's nomination means a new signature will be added to the dollar bill. Lew's starts off with a soft "J" but is followed by seven loopy scribbles, making it difficult to read. APNewsNow.

___ Lawmakers release documents on Wal-Mart bribery US-Wal-Mart-Bribery NEW YORK _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s CEO Mike Duke found out in 2005 that the retailer's Mexico unit was handing out bribes to local officials, according to emails obtained by lawmakers.The emails contradict earlier claims by Wal-Mart senior executives that they weren't aware of bribes being made by the company. PHOTO.

___ (c) 2013 The Canadian Press

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