Take stock – March 28

The CEO of the Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) says he’s in favour of the Toronto and London stock exchange operators joining forces — with some caveats. Rick Waugh says he hopes the two exchanges seal the deal in a way that protects national and regional interests.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

WRECKLESS BIKES, BOARDS & BOOTS

No. 3, 5809 51st Ave.

Red Deer

403-986-9222

• Owners

Rob and Tamarann Hillock

• Type of business

Sales of bikes, snowboards, skis and accessories, as well as repairs and servicing.

• Opening date

March 15

New business that have opened in Central Alberta within the past three months and wish to be listed here can send their information to Harley Richards by email (hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com) or fax (403-341-6560).


Scotiabank chief supports merger

CALGARY — The CEO of the Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) says he’s in favour of the Toronto and London stock exchange operators joining forces — with some caveats. Rick Waugh says he hopes the two exchanges seal the deal in a way that protects national and regional interests.

He says he believes in free markets and it would be a shame if the deal fell through for protectionist reasons. Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) has said it also supports the TMX-LSE deal, whereas Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM) and Toronto Dominion Bank (TSX:TD) have expressed misgivings.


Myanmar earns record haul from gems

Myanmar earned more than $2.8 billion from the sale of jade, gems and pearls at its annual gems auction this month, a report said Saturday. The weekly Voice news magazine said 16,939 lots of jade, 206 lots of gems and 255 lots of pearls were sold through competitive bidding to fetch the record-high revenue. It said 8,719 local and foreign gem merchants took part in the 48th annual event, held in the capital, Naypyitaw, according to an official from the Union of Myanmar Federation of Commerce and Industry. The March 11-22 auction, held under the auspices of the Mines Ministry, is a major foreign exchange earner for the military-dominated government, which faces economic and political sanctions from the West because of its poor human rights record. Myanmar is one of the world’s biggest producers of jade as well as the source of up to 90 per cent of its rubies, and gems from the country are specifically targeted by U.S. sanctions. In 2008, the United States enacted legislation banning the import of gems from Myanmar, which already was the voluntary policy of retailers such as Tiffany’s and Bulgari.

Myanmar gem sellers say the sanctions have little impact on their business because they rely on Chinese and Thai gem merchants, who are the major buyers.