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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN

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It’s going from bad to worse for Bill Morneau. After months of negative headlines over his tax reform plan and conflict allegations, the controversies are taking a toll on public opinion. A new Nanos Survey shows 40 per cent of respondents think it’s time for a new finance minister, with almost one-third unsure about his fate. And on top of that, Morneau is facing renewed scrutiny in Ottawa, with the federal ethics commissioner examining his role in pension legislation.

NAVIGATING TRADE UNCERTAINTY

Focus shifts back to NAFTA this week after high drama surrounding TPP over the last couple days. First, Justin Trudeau got the blame (rightly or wrongly) after a meeting of TPP leaders on the sidelines of the APEC summit was called off Friday morning. Then, a breakthrough – in relative terms – a few hours later when the 11 countries came to terms on core elements for a deal (minus, of course, hot-button issues like automotive rules). Now, the page gets turned as NAFTA renegotiators prepare for the fifth round of talks in Mexico City later this week.

CHARTING GE’S FUTURE

This morning, GE CEO John Flannery will map out his plan for turning around the giant industrial conglomerate. No small task considering the scope of GE’s operations. Already this morning we’ve seen the company chop its dividend in half. As the ultimate arbiter of the company’s performance, investors have sent the stock down more than 33 per cent over the last year, making it the worst performer on the Dow by a wide margin (Merck is second from the bottom, with a 13 per cent loss over the same period). Flannery’s presentation gets underway at 9 a.m. ET. The Wall Street Journal is reporting he’ll elect to focus on the company’s aviation, power and healthcare units; while potentially setting the stage to exit most others.

GE slashing dividend in half

General Electric is cutting its dividend in half as CEO John Flannery charts his turnaround plan for the giant industrial conglomerate. Philip Petursson, Chief Investment Strategist at Manulife Investments and BNN’s Paul Bagnell look at what it means for the company.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES:

- Brookfield Property Partners confirmed it submitted a non-binding proposal to buy the rest of GGP (the old General Growth Properties) for US$23 per share. GGP owns 126 malls in the U.S.

- Ride-sharing service Lyft announced it's going to launch in Toronto as it expands into Canada. And it's not shying away from trying to warm up the locals: "From brunch in Bloordale and belly laughs on Mercer St to polishing off some late-night poutine at your favourite burger joint out in Woodbridge, we know Toronto is the place to be," it said in a blog post.

- Mattel shares are trading 22 per cent higher in the pre-market after The Wall Street Journal reported late Friday the toymaker received a takeover offer from rival Hasbro.

- Uber has cleared the way for a potential multi-billion dollar investment led by Masayoshi Son’s Softbank. Details are still to be confirmed; but based on the reports, the deal would be structured as an initial direct billion-dollar investment with up to another US$9 billion to come via tender offer.

- SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO) announced a new global structure, including consolidating all oil and gas activities into a single unit. The press release cites "cost synergies ... and revenue synergy opportunities." The company tells us there aren’t any job cuts involved. 

IN OR OUT?

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What should Bill Morneau do?

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    NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

    - GE holds investor meeting (9 a.m. ET)

    - International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Transport Minister Marc Garneau start trade mission to India 

    Every morning BNN's Managing Editor Noah Zivitz writes a ‘chase note’ to BNN'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.bnn.ca/subscribe.