Tag Archive: points

Linens 'N Things Resurrected (In Canada)

October 23, 2009

In today’s marketplace, going out of business doesn’t mean you go away forever. Your storefronts may disappear, but you’ll just pop up again online—like CompUSA and Circuit City—or you’ll come back on someone else’s shelves as a brand, like Linens ‘N Things.

The company announced in a press release last week that it’s signed a 6 year deal with Home Outfitters, a home goods retailer in Canada:

…under [the agreement] a special line of Linens ‘N Things branded home goods will be produced and exclusively sold at Home Outfitters in Canada. The agreement, which includes a broad range of bed and bath, home decor as well as seasonal products, extends through 2016.

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War looms as Taliban surge rocks Pakistan

October 14, 2009

Lahore, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD–Pakistan is moving ever closer to a bloody confrontation with the Taliban, which is teaming up with ethnic rivals in a bold series of attacks in the country’s crowded cities.

Militants from the heart of Pakistan joined forces with Taliban insurgents from the remote Afghan border region to carry out the audacious weekend assault on army headquarters, the army said Monday – an ominous development as the fourth major attack in just over a week killed 41 people at a northwestern market.

But the military said the spate of attacks will not deter its plans for a new offensive against the insurgent bastion of South Waziristan.

The prospect of militant networks from across Pakistan cooperating more closely could complicate a planned offensive against the Taliban in their northwest stronghold, a push seen as vital to the success of the faltering U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

New details about the alleged leader of the 22-hour attack on army headquarters in Rawalpindi, some 15 kilometres from the Pakistani capital, underscored the bonds among the groups. Officials said Mohammad Aqeel, a former member of the army medical corps, had ties to the Taliban as well as two Al Qaeda-linked militant groups in Punjab, Pakistan’s dominant and most populous province.

Just weeks ago, there were hints of optimism in the battle against Pakistan’s Islamist insurgents. The military said it had routed the Taliban from the verdant Swat Valley. A CIA missile had killed the Pakistani Taliban’s chief – so shaking the group, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials said, that his likely successor was killed in a duel for the top spot. Bombings slowed.

But that successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, is alive, a military spokesman said Monday. And as a spate of grisly attacks during the past week has proven, so is the Taliban.

“They have been able to regroup, and they now feel confident to take on the Pakistani state in the cities,” said Hasan-Askari Rizvi, a professor and security analyst in Lahore. “They want to demonstrate that they have the initiative in their hands, rather than Pakistani authorities. So it’s a real kind of war.”

Pakistani military officials said they would not be deterred by the insurgents’ new show of force.

Pakistan’s air force has been pounding South Waziristan in the last day, a prelude to a possible ground campaign, military officials said. Hundreds are reported to have fled in expectation of an attack. Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the South Waziristan offensive will proceed whenever the army decides to launch it.

The Punjab connection is significant because it means the Taliban may be spreading their influence beyond their traditional base of ethnic Pashtuns in tribal areas on both sides of the Afghan border. Ethnic Punjabis, by contrast, dominate the army and the major institutions of the Pakistani state. Al Qaeda is primarily Arab.

The Taliban said their Punjab faction carried out the attack in that province – the first time they had referred to such an outfit – and vowed to activate cells outside the Pashtun heartland of the lawless frontier region.

“This was our first small effort and a present to the Pakistani and American governments,” Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq said. Tariq said the group was seeking vengeance for the killing of its leader in a CIA drone strike.

Monday’s suicide blast took place in Shangla, a Pashto-speaking area of the Swat Valley. The attacker was targeting a military vehicle, but most of the victims were civilians.

Punjabi militant groups have long existed, but in the past, they were nurtured by intelligence agencies to focus their attacks on Pakistan’s archrival, India. Their alliance with the Pashtun-dominated Taliban indicates they are now “up for hire” and represent yet another foe, military analyst Shuja Nawaz said.

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War looms as Taliban surge rocks Pakistan

October 14, 2009

Lahore, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD–Pakistan is moving ever closer to a bloody confrontation with the Taliban, which is teaming up with ethnic rivals in a bold series of attacks in the country’s crowded cities.

Militants from the heart of Pakistan joined forces with Taliban insurgents from the remote Afghan border region to carry out the audacious weekend assault on army headquarters, the army said Monday – an ominous development as the fourth major attack in just over a week killed 41 people at a northwestern market.

But the military said the spate of attacks will not deter its plans for a new offensive against the insurgent bastion of South Waziristan.

The prospect of militant networks from across Pakistan cooperating more closely could complicate a planned offensive against the Taliban in their northwest stronghold, a push seen as vital to the success of the faltering U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

New details about the alleged leader of the 22-hour attack on army headquarters in Rawalpindi, some 15 kilometres from the Pakistani capital, underscored the bonds among the groups. Officials said Mohammad Aqeel, a former member of the army medical corps, had ties to the Taliban as well as two Al Qaeda-linked militant groups in Punjab, Pakistan’s dominant and most populous province.

Just weeks ago, there were hints of optimism in the battle against Pakistan’s Islamist insurgents. The military said it had routed the Taliban from the verdant Swat Valley. A CIA missile had killed the Pakistani Taliban’s chief – so shaking the group, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials said, that his likely successor was killed in a duel for the top spot. Bombings slowed.

But that successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, is alive, a military spokesman said Monday. And as a spate of grisly attacks during the past week has proven, so is the Taliban.

“They have been able to regroup, and they now feel confident to take on the Pakistani state in the cities,” said Hasan-Askari Rizvi, a professor and security analyst in Lahore. “They want to demonstrate that they have the initiative in their hands, rather than Pakistani authorities. So it’s a real kind of war.”

Pakistani military officials said they would not be deterred by the insurgents’ new show of force.

Pakistan’s air force has been pounding South Waziristan in the last day, a prelude to a possible ground campaign, military officials said. Hundreds are reported to have fled in expectation of an attack. Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the South Waziristan offensive will proceed whenever the army decides to launch it.

The Punjab connection is significant because it means the Taliban may be spreading their influence beyond their traditional base of ethnic Pashtuns in tribal areas on both sides of the Afghan border. Ethnic Punjabis, by contrast, dominate the army and the major institutions of the Pakistani state. Al Qaeda is primarily Arab.

The Taliban said their Punjab faction carried out the attack in that province – the first time they had referred to such an outfit – and vowed to activate cells outside the Pashtun heartland of the lawless frontier region.

“This was our first small effort and a present to the Pakistani and American governments,” Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq said. Tariq said the group was seeking vengeance for the killing of its leader in a CIA drone strike.

Monday’s suicide blast took place in Shangla, a Pashto-speaking area of the Swat Valley. The attacker was targeting a military vehicle, but most of the victims were civilians.

Punjabi militant groups have long existed, but in the past, they were nurtured by intelligence agencies to focus their attacks on Pakistan’s archrival, India. Their alliance with the Pashtun-dominated Taliban indicates they are now “up for hire” and represent yet another foe, military analyst Shuja Nawaz said.

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War looms as Taliban surge rocks Pakistan

October 14, 2009

Lahore, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD–Pakistan is moving ever closer to a bloody confrontation with the Taliban, which is teaming up with ethnic rivals in a bold series of attacks in the country’s crowded cities.

Militants from the heart of Pakistan joined forces with Taliban insurgents from the remote Afghan border region to carry out the audacious weekend assault on army headquarters, the army said Monday – an ominous development as the fourth major attack in just over a week killed 41 people at a northwestern market.

But the military said the spate of attacks will not deter its plans for a new offensive against the insurgent bastion of South Waziristan.

The prospect of militant networks from across Pakistan cooperating more closely could complicate a planned offensive against the Taliban in their northwest stronghold, a push seen as vital to the success of the faltering U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

New details about the alleged leader of the 22-hour attack on army headquarters in Rawalpindi, some 15 kilometres from the Pakistani capital, underscored the bonds among the groups. Officials said Mohammad Aqeel, a former member of the army medical corps, had ties to the Taliban as well as two Al Qaeda-linked militant groups in Punjab, Pakistan’s dominant and most populous province.

Just weeks ago, there were hints of optimism in the battle against Pakistan’s Islamist insurgents. The military said it had routed the Taliban from the verdant Swat Valley. A CIA missile had killed the Pakistani Taliban’s chief – so shaking the group, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials said, that his likely successor was killed in a duel for the top spot. Bombings slowed.

But that successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, is alive, a military spokesman said Monday. And as a spate of grisly attacks during the past week has proven, so is the Taliban.

“They have been able to regroup, and they now feel confident to take on the Pakistani state in the cities,” said Hasan-Askari Rizvi, a professor and security analyst in Lahore. “They want to demonstrate that they have the initiative in their hands, rather than Pakistani authorities. So it’s a real kind of war.”

Pakistani military officials said they would not be deterred by the insurgents’ new show of force.

Pakistan’s air force has been pounding South Waziristan in the last day, a prelude to a possible ground campaign, military officials said. Hundreds are reported to have fled in expectation of an attack. Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the South Waziristan offensive will proceed whenever the army decides to launch it.

The Punjab connection is significant because it means the Taliban may be spreading their influence beyond their traditional base of ethnic Pashtuns in tribal areas on both sides of the Afghan border. Ethnic Punjabis, by contrast, dominate the army and the major institutions of the Pakistani state. Al Qaeda is primarily Arab.

The Taliban said their Punjab faction carried out the attack in that province – the first time they had referred to such an outfit – and vowed to activate cells outside the Pashtun heartland of the lawless frontier region.

“This was our first small effort and a present to the Pakistani and American governments,” Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq said. Tariq said the group was seeking vengeance for the killing of its leader in a CIA drone strike.

Monday’s suicide blast took place in Shangla, a Pashto-speaking area of the Swat Valley. The attacker was targeting a military vehicle, but most of the victims were civilians.

Punjabi militant groups have long existed, but in the past, they were nurtured by intelligence agencies to focus their attacks on Pakistan’s archrival, India. Their alliance with the Pashtun-dominated Taliban indicates they are now “up for hire” and represent yet another foe, military analyst Shuja Nawaz said.

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Canada Stock Sales Hit Record as Miners Tap Market

October 8, 2009

CBUSINESS-US-MARKETS-CANADA-STOCKS


Canadian companies sold a record $34.8 billion in stock this year as mining firms such as Barrick Gold Corp. took advantage of a market rebound to raise cash.

With three months left in the year, Canadian stock sales have already surpassed the previous record of $34.5 billion raised in all of 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1999.

Canadian companies are selling common stock and preferred shares as the nation’s benchmark stock index rebounds from a five-year low. The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 23 percent this year before today, and soared 46 percent from a March 9 trough, as investors stepped up stock purchases.

“We’re in the sweet spot for equity markets,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall MacDougall & MacTier Inc. in Toronto, which manages about C$4 billion ($3.7 billion).

Canada’s economy will grow more in 2010 than previously forecast led by commodity prices that have rebounded ahead of a global recovery, the International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook report yesterday.

Gold mining was the largest source of equity financing in Canada this year, led by Barrick Gold’s $4 billion sale last month, a Canadian record. Kinross Gold Corp., Canada’s third- largest gold producer, raised $414.6 million in January.

Open Markets

“Given the size of some of the deals we’ve seen recently, I’d say those markets are open and I’d say there are a lot of generalist investors today looking at gold exposure,” Kinross Chief Executive Officer Tye Burt said in a Sept. 28 interview. “There’ll probably be more appetite for new issues.”

CIBC is the top bank for stock sales this year, helping raise $5.17 billion, followed by RBC Capital Markets, with $5.16 billion, according to Bloomberg. Scotia Capital ranked third at $4.38 billion, followed by TD Securities and BMO Capital Markets. Rankings are based on sales of stock, preferred shares and convertible bonds.

“Cash is coming off the sidelines as investors are looking for riskier assets and higher returns,” said Sante Corona, head of equity capital markets at TD Securities in Toronto. “Investors are investing that cash in the stock market and the new issue market.”

IPO Rebound

Initial public offerings also rebounded from a year ago, driven by IPOs from mortgage insurer Genworth MI Canada Inc. and power-plant operator Capital Power Corp. Montreal-based retailer Dollarama Inc. plans to raise about C$300 million next week in Canada’s third-biggest IPO this year.

Canadian companies raised $1.37 billion in initial stock sales this year, from $772 million in the same period a year ago.

Still, the pace of stock sales may slow after the surge this year, said Roman Dubczak, head of equity capital markets at CIBC.

“We’re at the stage where the supply might be drying up to some extent,” said Dubczak. “That will have to be driven by general economic expansion and financing of capital expenditures” and mergers.

The value of equity financings rose 55 percent in the first three quarters of the year from the same period a year ago, according to Bloomberg data. The number of transactions fell 23 percent to 408 from 529.

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Canada Stock Sales Hit Record as Miners Tap Market

October 8, 2009

CBUSINESS-US-MARKETS-CANADA-STOCKS


Canadian companies sold a record $34.8 billion in stock this year as mining firms such as Barrick Gold Corp. took advantage of a market rebound to raise cash.

With three months left in the year, Canadian stock sales have already surpassed the previous record of $34.5 billion raised in all of 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1999.

Canadian companies are selling common stock and preferred shares as the nation’s benchmark stock index rebounds from a five-year low. The S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 23 percent this year before today, and soared 46 percent from a March 9 trough, as investors stepped up stock purchases.

“We’re in the sweet spot for equity markets,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall MacDougall & MacTier Inc. in Toronto, which manages about C$4 billion ($3.7 billion).

Canada’s economy will grow more in 2010 than previously forecast led by commodity prices that have rebounded ahead of a global recovery, the International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook report yesterday.

Gold mining was the largest source of equity financing in Canada this year, led by Barrick Gold’s $4 billion sale last month, a Canadian record. Kinross Gold Corp., Canada’s third- largest gold producer, raised $414.6 million in January.

Open Markets

“Given the size of some of the deals we’ve seen recently, I’d say those markets are open and I’d say there are a lot of generalist investors today looking at gold exposure,” Kinross Chief Executive Officer Tye Burt said in a Sept. 28 interview. “There’ll probably be more appetite for new issues.”

CIBC is the top bank for stock sales this year, helping raise $5.17 billion, followed by RBC Capital Markets, with $5.16 billion, according to Bloomberg. Scotia Capital ranked third at $4.38 billion, followed by TD Securities and BMO Capital Markets. Rankings are based on sales of stock, preferred shares and convertible bonds.

“Cash is coming off the sidelines as investors are looking for riskier assets and higher returns,” said Sante Corona, head of equity capital markets at TD Securities in Toronto. “Investors are investing that cash in the stock market and the new issue market.”

IPO Rebound

Initial public offerings also rebounded from a year ago, driven by IPOs from mortgage insurer Genworth MI Canada Inc. and power-plant operator Capital Power Corp. Montreal-based retailer Dollarama Inc. plans to raise about C$300 million next week in Canada’s third-biggest IPO this year.

Canadian companies raised $1.37 billion in initial stock sales this year, from $772 million in the same period a year ago.

Still, the pace of stock sales may slow after the surge this year, said Roman Dubczak, head of equity capital markets at CIBC.

“We’re at the stage where the supply might be drying up to some extent,” said Dubczak. “That will have to be driven by general economic expansion and financing of capital expenditures” and mergers.

The value of equity financings rose 55 percent in the first three quarters of the year from the same period a year ago, according to Bloomberg data. The number of transactions fell 23 percent to 408 from 529.

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