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BMO had a total profit of $1.5 billion over three months ended Jan. 31, 2019. That’s an increase of 55 per cent from last year, though it dropped from $1.7 billion in the previous quarter. Scotiabank slipped to $2.2 billion in profit this quarter, compared to $2.3 billion last year. BMO CEO Darryl White identified the U.S. as a key growth market in a Tuesday morning conference call. Earnings at Scotiabank’s Canadian banking unit were down three per cent. (Financial Post)

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Talking point: Both banks said their latest earnings got a big boost from international markets; a flat domestic market and volatile stocks caused them to slip back at home. Scotiabank’s international earnings grew by 17 per cent to $782 million, partially due to acquisitions in Latin America.  However, it’s still slimming down in international markets—also on Tuesday, it announced it would be entering a deal to reduce its 49 per cent stake in Thailand-based TBank. And, CEO Brian Porter said the company will continue to make more of its profits at home than overseas.

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The federal government awarded the Philadelphia-headquartered asset manager nearly $80 million under the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI), which gives investment firms money toward new funds that invest in Canadian tech companies. The firm had until the end of this June to secure the matching private-sector capital, and had originally aimed for a $275-million fund. But it only received Ontario Securities Commission approval to raise funds last May. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The firm was the newcomer to Ottawa’s VC seed-funding program—HarbourVest Partners, Kensington Capital Partners, Northleaf Capital Partners and Teralys Capital, who split the rest of the initial $350-million pot, all participated in the VCCI’s predecessor. Hamilton Lane hired Mike Woollatt, the former Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association CEO, to run its new Toronto office, but couldn’t lock down the additional funding; the other firms raised from major financial institutions or institutional investors. The government has yet to decide where to reallocate the nearly $80 million, but it has previously set up additional $50-million VCCI streams for fund managers focused on underrepresented groups and clean technology, respectively.