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TMCNet:  Business News as of Noon ET

[January 24, 2013]

Business News as of Noon ET

(Canadian Press DataFile Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THURSDAY, JAN. 24 Noon ET BUSINESS NEWS ADVISORY Here are the top Business News stories from The Canadian Press as of Noon. 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)thecanadianpress.com.

____ TOP BUSINESS NEWS THIS HOUR ___ Agrium raises guidance for Q4 earnings Agrium CALGARY _ Fertilizer giant Agrium Inc., under pressure from its largest shareholder to split the company in two, is raising its earnings guidance as both its North American retail and wholesale divisions delivered better-than-expected results.The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, said it earned slightly more than $2 per share during the last three months of 2012, up from its previously expected range of between $1.50 to $1.90.

___ Obama picks Mary Jo White to lead SEC US-Obama-SEC WASHINGTON _ President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, tapping an attorney with broad experience in prosecuting white-collar crimes to lead an agency that has a central role in implementing Wall Street reform.White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama would announce White's nomination during a ceremony in the State Dining Room Thursday afternoon. PHOTO.

___ CRTC: 911 texts for hearing, speech impaired CRTC-911-Texts GATINEAU _ The CRTC says wireless carriers must make changes to their networks and systems to support 911 emergency text messages for hearing or speech-impaired persons within 12 months.The service would only be provided to the hearing or speech-impaired who have pre-registered for it with their wireless carrier.

___ KingSett-led group still interested in Primaris Primaris-Takeover TORONTO _ A consortium led by KingSett Capital announced Thursday it will continue to build its stake in Primaris Retail Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:PMZ.UN), a shopping mall operator that it has been attempting to take over. The group, comprised of KingSett, the Ontario Pension Board and RioCan REIT (TSX:REI.UN) _ Canada's largest shopping mall real estate owner _ announced Thursday it still plans to "directly or indirectly" acquire Primaris units.

___ PERSONAL FINANCE ___ A plan is key as RRSP season heats up OTTAWA _ As Canadians head into RRSP season this year, experts say it is all about having a plan and sticking to it. Mike Henry, a senior vice-president at Scotiabank, said there are not enough Canadians with a written financial plan.

Canadians defaulting less on loans: report Credit-Delinquency TORONTO _ Canadians are paying off their debts faster, with the number of those more than three months behind on loan payments dropping to a record low, according to a report Thursday from Equifax Canada. PHOTO. Moves National and Business ___ BUZZ ___ Apple shares plunge as growth appears to stall US-Earns-Apple NEW YORK _ Apple shares are plunging after the company reported quarterly results that point to growth slowing after five blowout years.The stock was down $50.68, or 9.9 per cent, at $463.32 in late morning trading.

___ ALSO IN THE NEWS ___ TSX rises amid Chinese manufacturing data Dollar-Markets TORONTO _ The Toronto stock market was higher Thursday as resource stocks advanced on a further indication that China is digging itself out of a slump while the tech sector was roiled by a disappointing earnings report and outlook from Apple.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 62.73 points to 12,856.78 while the TSX Venture Exchange dipped 4.39 points to 1,237.14. will be updated ___ Loonie lower on interest rate expectations Loonie TORONTO _ The Canadian dollar headed for its first close below parity with the greenback in over two months after the Bank of Canada signalled that interest rate hikes are likely further off than previously thought.The loonie declined 0.35 of a cent to 99.75 cents US on top of a drop of almost 2/3 of a cent Wednesday as the central bank kept its key rate at one per cent and lowered its economic estimates. will be updated ___ Oil gets boost from China, US economic reports Oil-Prices The price of oil rose Thursday on positive economic news from the U.S. and China.Benchmark oil gained 72 cents to $95.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in morning trading.

___ Sino Forest extends plan implementation date Sino-Forest TORONTO _ Sino-Forest Corp. said Thursday it has again extended the implementation date of its restructuring plan. The company says additional work is still necessary before the plan can become effective, so the implementation date has been pushed back to on or about Jan. 29.

___ Cliffs writes down Canadian iron ore unit Cliffs-Natural-Writedown CLEVELAND _ Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) says delays and unanticipated costs following its acquisition of Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines will require more than US$1 billion of non-cash writedowns. The U.S. miner company bought Consolidated Thompson and its majority stake in the Bloom Lake open pit iron mine in Quebec in 2011 for $4.9 billion.

___ Richelieu Hardware grows earnings for 2012 Richelieu-Hardware MONTREAL _ Richelieu Hardware Ltd. (TSX:RCH) said Thursday it earned $45.4 million last year, up from 2011, as acquisitions boosted sales.The hardware company said the profit amounted to $2.15 per diluted share on $565.8 million in sales last year.

___ Neptune Technologies restructures management Neptune-Technologies MONTREAL _ Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. says it is temporarily abolishing the position of chief operating officer until production resumes at a rebuilt plant that was destroyed late last year by a deadly explosion.Company president and CEO Henri Harland will assume the responsibilities of Michel Chartrand, who will remain a board member.

___ (c) 2013 The Canadian Press

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